18 September 2019 | Thassos - 8,190 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Hot and Calm
We spent a day in Myrinas in the spring and now we have chance to explore a bit more. We moored stern-to on the quay under the spectacular castle and although the quay is lined with bars it's very quiet once the evening perambulation has finished. We had quite a few chores to do - another attempt at repairing the dinghy, laundry (in a self service launderette!), shopping - all very exciting. We were very sociable having drinks with Steve on a tiny Westerly Tiger who came via the Danube - he stayed for dinner. We also had drinks with Americans Larry and Linda on their large cat - followed by dinner out. There is another British couple here, on holiday, but sailors in the UK who we chat to regularly. The old shaded shopping street is lovely to wander and there is also a beach for swimming. Unfortunately (or not) after a couple of days the wind and sea have picked up again and so we had to stay a bit longer.........
Larry and Linda had a friend visiting, Debbie and rented a car for a few days and we were invited to join them. Our tour started with wine tasting at the Chatzigeorgiou winery. We were surprised as we arrived that there were no vines on the estate, but were told the Muscat of Alexandria grape is grown in small vineyards all over Limnos and collected for the winery. It's a low growing vine - presumably well suited to the wind. With this knowledge we could then see small fields of them everywhere. We tasted several wines and of course bought a few bottles at a very reasonable price. Next was lunch in Moudros, which we loved when we stayed there earlier in the year. Steve had gone cycling and we found him 40 km away in Moudros and so he joined us before cycling back. We told the group about ruins near by that we'd tried to visit before but had been closed and so we tried again - and they were closed again!
The next morning we tried again - and it was open - third time lucky! The ruins of Poliochne date back to 3,700 years bc, over 5,000 years old and are claimed to be the oldest city in Europe with up to 1500 inhabitants. It was fascinating. The buildings were only foundation level but you could clearly see defensive walls, streets, houses, meeting rooms with benches and storerooms and could imagine life there. So much organisation so long ago! On our travels we passed the village with the stone wine vats in the ground which we stumbled upon in the spring and so had to share it as we knew they would be interested and then a petrified tree on the side of the road. We next found lunch in a small taverna in a village we passed through before heading for another winery. Unfortunately, after trying very hard, we couldn't find it! We kept passing signs for another which didn't have as good reviews but we thought deserved extra points for having directions but when we got there it was closed! Finally, we found a wine cooperative come warehouse- but that was also closed! The others had spotted what looked like a winery across the bay and so we stopped there but - it was closed! There is a church on a hill very close to it and so we went up there and enjoyed lovely views over Myrinas, the bay and the castle. We decided to head back to the boats and try tasting at the cooperative in the evening but when we arrived they weren't doing tasting this time of year! Back to town and supper by the harbour where Steve joined us.
The forecast was saying we could all leave on Sunday when the wind and sea subsided and so on Saturday we stocked up again ready to go. We went to the beach bumping into Linda and Debbie before we all drove to a lovely restaurant out of Myrinas where we had a lovely dinner with a blood moon rising over the sea. After coffee and goodbyes on Harmonia they set off but we received a text an hour later saying they had high winds and rough seas. An hour later another arrived saying it was worse - another night in Myrinas was looking good! But lunch time the following day we did manage to leave and motored to an anchorage on the north of the island in flat seas and light winds where we had the darkest night we've ever experienced at anchor. The stars we're very bright but the rocks seemed to close in around us as they disappeared - a bit spooky! It was a peaceful if a bit of a rolly night though. We left the anchorage early in the morning for a boring 41 mile motor to Thassos. The anchorage we chose didn't offer the shelter we were expecting as the wind was not from the forecast direction. It was also small and noisy and so we added 10 more miles and went around the east coast where we spent a very peaceful night in the large bay of Potimias.
For the Greek sailors amongst you, you might recognise the view of Myrina in the photo. It's on the front cover of the Hiekel pilot book, but he hasn't got Freya in his picture