Freya & Us

Vessel Name: Freya of Wight
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Oceanranger
Hailing Port: Portishead
22 August 2012 | La Rochelle - still 648 miles
04 August 2012 | Bristol - 648 miles (excl flight!)
04 August 2012 | Les Sables D'olonne - 587 miles
20 July 2012 | Ile D'Yeu - 555 miles
20 July 2012 | Quiberon - 488 miles
10 July 2012 | Lorient - 456 miles
10 July 2012 | Concarneau - total miles 425
03 July 2012 | Loctudy
23 June 2012 | Camaret - Brittany
14 June 2012 | Falmouth
14 June 2012 | Oxwich Bay. Wales
14 June 2012 | Portishead
08 June 2012 | Portishead!
08 June 2012
17 April 2012
Recent Blog Posts
18 October 2019 | Mytilini, Lesbos - 8,413 NM

Overnight to Molyvos

Our overnight passage was beautiful. We left Samothraki just before 5.00 pm to do 78 miles ensuring we arrived in daylight. The sea was totally flat and we had a gentle breeze allowing the main to give us a bit of assistance. The moon was almost full and already rising as we left and it lit our way until [...]

11 October 2019 | Molyvos, Lesbos - 8,379 NM

Samothraki

It was time to start heading south and back to Lesvos for the winter. We left Porto Lagos having really enjoyed our few days, there even though it felt as we left as soon as we’d arrived. 37 miles away was our next stop, Samothraki. A small island made of a large chunk of marble a long way from anywhere [...]

04 October 2019 | Porto Lagos - 8,263 NM

Twitchers

Our first night back in Kavala turned out to be very long! One of the big ferries arrived shortly after us which isn't normally a problem but it clearly wasn't going anywhere soon but kept his engine running all night. Added to that the whole fishing fleet must've returned for the weekend passing very [...]

02 October 2019 | Porto Lagos - 8,263 NM

A bus trip to Thessaloniki

A very pleasant 20 NM downwind motorsail past a couple of oil rigs took us to Ormos Eleftheriou. We had to come here as it’s Rita’s (Paul’s sister) family name. It’s a beautiful, big horseshoe shaped bay with small islands dotted about it, a few smaller bays plus a castle and sandy beaches. After [...]

22 September 2019 | Ormos Eleftheriou - 8,210NM

Walking Through History

Just an hour and a half around to the north of the island is Thassos town, our next destination. We moored in the new port which is lots of concrete but secure and sheltered - apart from when the hydrofoil comes in a few times a day! Thassos was a bit late joining the Greek island tourist invasion but [...]

18 September 2019

Interactive Map

By clicking on the link below you can load an interactive map to see our route and explore the places we stopped at.

Overnight to Molyvos

18 October 2019 | Mytilini, Lesbos - 8,413 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Sunny and Still
Our overnight passage was beautiful. We left Samothraki just before 5.00 pm to do 78 miles ensuring we arrived in daylight. The sea was totally flat and we had a gentle breeze allowing the main to give us a bit of assistance. The moon was almost full and already rising as we left and it lit our way until 4.00 in the morning when it was replaced by millions of spectacular stars. Paul spotted a few shooting stars as well and even had a visit from a couple of dolphins in the dark. We arrived in Molyvos on Lesbos at about 7.30 am and found plenty of room on the quay where we managed to moor stern-to with Paul getting a line through a mooring ring from the boat and then climbing up a tyre onto the quay to attach the second line. Tea, showers and breakfast were very welcome and when Louise and Gordon, with Lily (cat) on Camira got up they brought their morning coffee to join us and catch up. We were feeling remarkably awake and so went to explore the lovely old town with its steep, narrow, winding streets full of shops and bars. It wasn't long before we were flagging however and we headed back towards Freya having lunch on the quay for a snooze. The snooze had to wait though as the port police had been and wanted us all to move to the end of the quay as they had a big boat coming in. Two stern-to moorings in one day after very little sleep seemed a bit much but we duly obliged before eventually getting our snooze which was just as well as we were joined by 2 charter yachts with British crews on holiday and the evening turned out to be very sociable! The big boat never materialised!

We went to Molyvos with Dee and Kevin in a hire car in the spring and it absolutely poured with rain to the extent that we couldn't see anything or enjoy it. We simply got back in the car and left! How different it was this time. In the morning we could see the medieval town in all its glory and we headed back into town and right to the top to visit the Byzantine/Ottoman/Genoese castle with its stunning views of the town and bays on both sides. We were just leaving when we found Gordon on a shopping trip and looking for an Ouzery he'd found before. It would've been rude not to join him and so we joined the search and eventually found the bar on a little back street. It was very basic but with lovely views and we had the ouzo mezze without the ouzo which was delicious even though it included snails and was just 3€ each. After a little more exploring we had a snooze before dinner in a lovely taverna in town with Louise and Gordon.

Just along the coast from Molyvos is the old town of Petra which is now surrounded by a modern holiday resort. The easiest way to get there was on the "wally trolley" (tourist train) which was a very bumpy ride along the cobbled streets but we were lucky as it was their last day of the season. We'd also stopped here in the rain earlier in the year and so it was lovely to explore the old town including the church perched on a rocky pinnacle in the middle of town and the Vareltzidaina mansion built in the late 18th century in the Ottoman style with vaulted ceilings and beautiful frescoes. On the return journey we got off at the beach and sat for a while - the temptation was too much for me and I had a lovely swim across the bay and back to Freya. As Paul walked back he was persuaded by a friendly taverna owner on the quay that we would really like to eat at his place that evening - another lovely dinner with Louise and Gordon.

Having really enjoyed Molyvos out of season, it was time to move on and we selected an anchorage 17 miles away on the East coast of Lesvos, Palios. It was beautiful and I enjoyed a lovely swim in the turquoise water where there were few fish but lovely yellow coral growing on the rocks before a spectacular full moon appeared. In the morning we rowed ashore and walked through olive groves around the shore to an area covered in tombs which had been carved out of the rock. Interesting but we couldn't find any information about them. We went to visit Camira on the way back - Paul rowing and me swimming. When we'd arrived in the bay Gordon had been worried about a strange noise coming from the engine. He now knew an engine mount had sheered. Paul went back to Freya to collect bits of wood and between them they propped the engine up. We left for Mytilini going slowly and following Camira in case the problem worsened. After about four hours we were back safe in the marina where Camira needed an engineer and we needed a rigger to sort our genoa.

The rigger duly arrived the next day and the forestay was dismantled. It appears it hadn't been fitted correctly 3 years ago in Italy, with glue and screws missing. We need new parts from Harken which have been ordered but in the meantime our rig is held up by the spinnaker halyard!

Samothraki

11 October 2019 | Molyvos, Lesbos - 8,379 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Warm and Sunny
It was time to start heading south and back to Lesvos for the winter. We left Porto Lagos having really enjoyed our few days, there even though it felt as we left as soon as we’d arrived. 37 miles away was our next stop, Samothraki. A small island made of a large chunk of marble a long way from anywhere else. On our last passage we’d unfurled the Genoa to find a big greasy splodge in the middle surrounding a tear in the sail! Further investigation found the foil (around which the sail furls) had come apart causing the damage. The forecast gave calm winds and relatively flat seas for our journey which worked well as we would only be able to use the main - and the engine. It started well but we soon had a 2 metre swell and over 20 kt winds! It was a really rolly and uncomfortable trip which seemed endless. Although we did have a pod of dolphins come to play in the middle with several babies - always makes you smile! With about 2 hours to go we noticed a loud clonking noise coming from the binnacle where the steering cables are housed which we think was caused by Flossy (autopilot) trying to hold course in the rough sea resulting in some erratic movements on the wheel. We manually steered for the remaining journey and all was fine but we would need to investigate before moving on. We moored side-to, all alone, on the quay in the capital Kamariotissa which, from the boat, looks lovely nestled under the mountain. When Paul did his arrival checks he concluded that we are using lots more diesel than usual - possibly Freya’s dirty bottom and prop or maybe something else to investigate! We think Freya is very unhappy about something........

We toured Samothraki in a battered hire car for 2 days. It’s a very different Greek island. There is only 1 road almost circumnavigating it as the island is mostly a mountain 1,611m high which falls away into the sea. It’s also a very green island - which means a fair amount of rain and lots of streams and waterfalls coming off of the mountain - and across the 1 road. As we drove around there were large sections of the road missing, washed away, with off-road diversions in place. In other places there were small landslides to be avoided, rubble all over the road from gentler hills and fords. We understood why our car was battered and the hire company weren’t interested in it’s bumps! On the first day we went north and started at The Sanctuary of the Great Gods, the ruins of a mystery cult whose initiation rites promised divine protection and the opportunity to become a better person than ever you were before! Just hand over some money and the priests would sort it. The site was fascinating with all the various rooms for different parts of the initiation although a good imagination was necessary. We then headed to the end of the road at the far east of the island where our little map told us there was a beach - lunch we thought. We found a huge rocky beach in a spectacular location but nothing else apart from a few hippies camping - no lunch. Our other discovery was that the island is very sparsely populated as we’d only passed 1 village, Loutra, aka Therma, because of its hot springs. We headed back to find lunch. It was a very pretty village and had the feel of a backpacker destination in South East Asia and it also had a hippy commune adding to a very relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately it was closed and it took us some time to find a restaurant that was open for lunch but it certainly looked closed with leaves all over the terrace and tatty tables scattered around but we had a very nice lunch on our own. There were signposts around the village for waterfalls and so we went for a very pretty walk but failed miserably! Back in the car we headed back to signs we’d seen earlier but still failed. Back to the village we drove around the very narrow roads again and out of the village until we eventually found, we think, the Ghria Vathra Canyon which was stunningly beautiful like something out of the Lord of the Rings, with huge gnarled and hollow plane trees covered in moss and a stream tumbling over rocks and boulders. We walked up the gorge clambering over rocks to find rock pools - with naked hippies - and waterfalls. Then back again to the village for a dip in the hot springs - more naked hippies - where we arrived just as others were leaving and enjoyed a lovely warm soak while looking over the mountains and sea.

On the 2nd day we started in Chora, the capital of the island with a Byzantine/Genoan castle perched on the top. This was obviously closed, as it was Monday, but we thought we could probably see most of it from outside and could certainly enjoy the views. The village was beautiful spread over the hillside with narrow streets and terracotta roofs. There was very little open apart from a few cafes but we enjoyed exploring before coffee in the cafe that boasted the best views in Chora. Next came the south of the island and again the promise of a beach at the end of the road but this time there were signs for a taverna. The beach was huge, white and sandy - lovely - but the taverna was closed! On the way back we explored a couple of hillside villages in the hope of lunch and eventually found a locals cafe. The lady came out and sat at our table to explain what she had while Paul translated - she gave me a hug when I understood loukanika, Greek sausages! Lunch was fine but the experience was lovely. Our final stop was the huge sand spit sticking out on the west of the island. By then it was very windy but we had a quick walk and found an old radio station which presumably kept the island in touch pre modern communication. The spit was just odd stuck on the end of a mountain sticking out of the sea. We filled up our diesel cans on our way back so that we were ready for the next stage of our journey and returned our car, had a drink by the port and a walk around town before returning to the boat and battened down the hatches as the wind built for the next storm.

The storm grew over night with Paul needing to go out and rescue the Bimini just after midnight luckily before the rain joined in - I slept and didn’t even notice! Later the rain came too and waves started breaking over the wall covering the boat in posidonia grass. By this time it was all very loud and even I was awake! But in the morning it was all still and totally silent with no damage done. Our job for the day was to look at the clonk in the steering. We thought the cables were a little lose and so tightened them and greased everything but all looked fine. After turning the wheel this way and that then doing it much harder we realised the clonk was coming when the wheel reached its limit with a jolt when Flossy was struggling. Hopefully all sorted we went for a walk and a coffee, returned to the boat for lunch and then prepared for our next passage. After much debate we had decided an overnight sail back to Lesbos made most sense.

Twitchers

04 October 2019 | Porto Lagos - 8,263 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Thunder and Lightening
Our first night back in Kavala turned out to be very long! One of the big ferries arrived shortly after us which isn't normally a problem but it clearly wasn't going anywhere soon but kept his engine running all night. Added to that the whole fishing fleet must've returned for the weekend passing very close to Freya and our beds. The big ferry left in the early hours - phew! - except an equally big one arrived shortly after and seemed to be dropping his anchor on us! Not a lot of sleep was had! Saturday was market day in Kavala and we love a good market and so undeterred we had to go - it turned out to be right beside the harbour and so we didn't have far to go. It was an excellent market if very crowded with lots of locals in 'bubble' mode but we returned with bags full of fresh goodies to last us a while.

There was one more place we had to visit near Kavala and that was Fillipi, a Greco/Roman city built on the one built by Phillip of Macedon, Alexander the Great's father. We caught the bus for the half hour journey which was well worth it - we do like a good pile of old stones! The site was huge and will get bigger as more parts are being uncovered. There is so much history here - St Paul visited and created the first Christian church in Europe. He was also arrested and the cell he was held in is still standing - outside of which a group of American gospel singers worshipped! There were very impressive roads, with drainage, which are part of the Via Egnatia linking Constantinople to Rome plus a huge basilica and an octagonal church with mosaic floors as well as the usual streets, agora and houses. We spent a couple of hours exploring and imagining life there 2,000 years ago and followed it with a fish lunch in the taverna in the village.

We left in the morning and motored in zero wind 15 miles to Keramoti which was very pleasant but is primarily a holiday resort full of modern apartments and tavernas which were closing for the winter. It did have a spectacular wide sandy beach with shallow, turquoise, warm water though. This is another ferry port for Thassos and so another early morning as the ferries and fishing fleet started work! As there is no wind which makes journeys very boring we're doing short hops along the coast. Next was Advera another 15 miles away which has more ruins. This area is the delta for the Nesta river which spreads over a huge area making the sea very shallow. When we arrived we found we had to anchor almost a mile from shore and even then with only 1.5m of water under us and the depth alarm continually complaining! We could see the ruins on the hill and another village of modern apartments and decided a mile was too much effort and satisfied ourselves with a very nice lunch bobbing at anchor looking at the sparse ruins through the binoculars! We've been a little disappointed with this coast as we were expecting it to be less developed but apart from the cities we've found soulless modern developments. We then lifted the anchor and did another 10 miles to Porto Lagos.

Porto Lagos is a very sheltered lagoon entered via a long a narrow channel around a sand spit. Once in, we surveyed the big quay for somewhere to moor. There was a large area with tyre fenders clearly for something bigger than us, probably the boats collecting wheat, there was a large section with a few fishing boats with nets piled in between them and so probably not for us and then a few yachts and spaces with lines attached which also looked occupied. We opted for one of those not knowing whether we'd be moved on or not and moored stern-to. We set off to explore thinking that we'd be here for a few days as storms were coming. We thought we may hire a car and explore the wider area which included a huge lake which is again part of the river Nestos delta - not a chance! It felt like a ghost town! The streets were deserted. A third of properties were derelict, another third were for sale and empty and the rest didn't look very inviting. To complete the picture there were a number of (friendly) dogs roaming the streets, but did they like to "sing" in the evenings. There was one taverna, one bar, one betting shop (essential!) and a very small mini market. We asked in the shop and bar but neither had a clue about buses to the nearest town, Xanthi, and the bus stop didn't have a timetable only graffiti. We debated whether to move on quickly but really wanted to explore the lake and so after much debate we decided to stay although feeling a little trapped in zombie land.

As we were staying a few days, mains electricity would make life more comfortable so off Paul went to the Port Office for the electric card and to pay our mooring fees. Their card machine was broken and uniquely for Greece they wouldn't take cash. So no electric and come back later to pay for the mooring. On his next visit still no way to pay, but a chat with the boatyard saw us sorted for electric at no charge. The following day he tried again, no card machine and was told that as the office would be closed for the next 3 days, he must go the bank in the next village 20km away to pay. He reminded her we came by boat and had no car and with no more buses that wasn't possible. Ah she said, but you must pay today. Paul offered cash again. No, not possible she said. Stalemate. Then he was told the port police would be after us if we tried to leave without paying. Paul offered cash again. Not possible she said. After an hour of this a solution was found. Paul gave some cash to a passing local who he was assured would pay the money into a bank for us. The port office and the port police were happy so Paul left thinking "Only in Greece". That afternoon we got an email receipt for the payment so we needn't have worried.

In the morning we set off to find the lake not sure how far it was or if we needed bikes but we needn't have worried as after a 20 minute walk through the village and along a dust track we were on the shores with mountains towering on the far side and millions of birds of all sizes. We walked along the shore (passing all the rubbish!) and crossed a bridge over an outlet spotting large creatures swimming beside us. It took sometime for us to realise they were crabs with one hugely oversized claw and smaller blue ones which they were flapping wildly to swim. Amazing, we'd never seen anything like it. We found a beach completely made of shells and sat down to watch the birds. There were cormorants sitting on poles which they evicted terns and gulls from, several sorts of herons, greater and little egrets, grebes (I think) and lots of huge pelicans as well as millions of LBJs darting around the reeds. As we sat quietly they got closer and closer and so we sat for an hour or so sharing their world. It was very special. Walking back we followed the outlet to the sea where we could see the muddy waters of the delta mixing with the blue sea and found a bonus - lots of flamingos paddling on the beach!

The next day we were expecting the rain to start and so went for a walk in the morning around the lake in the other direction. We found ourselves on the main road which wasn't great but as it wasn't too busy we carried on and could see a monastery on two islands in the lake. It was a beautiful spot and again we enjoyed being twitchers for a while. After coffee in what was now our regular bar (the only bar!) we went back to the boat to have lunch and await the rain - but it never came. Later we did a smaller preamble around the spit of land separating the lagoon from the sea which is covered in pine trees. It was another lovely walk but so much rubbish everywhere! When we reached the beach the flamingos weren't there and so I guess we were lucky the day before. The day finished with a very nice dinner in the taverna but we were the only customers and come 8.30 they were clearly waiting to close and so we went to the bar where there were 2 old men watching the football. They left at about 9.30 and again, we felt we were outstaying out welcome. Home to bed then.......

The storm definitely arrived the next day with amazing thunder and lightening. A day of boat chores and blog catching up.

A bus trip to Thessaloniki

02 October 2019 | Porto Lagos - 8,263 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Hot and Still
A very pleasant 20 NM downwind motorsail past a couple of oil rigs took us to Ormos Eleftheriou. We had to come here as it’s Rita’s (Paul’s sister) family name. It’s a beautiful, big horseshoe shaped bay with small islands dotted about it, a few smaller bays plus a castle and sandy beaches. After dropping the anchor in a sheltered bay we went ashore which was a bit disappointing as it’s a modern resort full of modern apartments and trendy bars where they served us the most expensive drinks we’ve had in the Aegean! Pleasant but nothing interesting but we had a nice peaceful night even though we’re next to a big fishing port.

After breakfast we moved 1.5 miles to the other, less sheltered, side of the bay and anchored below the castle. We paddled ashore in the dinghy and climbed the hill to the entrance. It was free but there wasn’t a lot left apart from the walls but atmospheric nonetheless in its position on the side of the hill. Back to the boat for coffee before motoring (not even a hint of wind!) 7 miles to Kavala port. Kavala is a sizeable city on the coast of mainland Greece with a lot of history. We moored alongside on a long pontoon with views of the citadel and aqueduct - lovely. A short walk before dinner found a clean, tidy and maintained waterside with everything we need close by although our drinks were even more expensive than the last ones!

More exploring in the morning took us around the port to the huge aqueduct which looks authentically Roman but was actually built by the Ottomans in the Roman style and on the site of a Roman one. It is spectacular whoever built it! Next we wound up the steep narrow streets of the old town to the castle on the top for amazing views of the city below and over to Thassos. The citadel has been rebuilt many times over the years. Most of what can be seen today is Ottoman but remains from Greek and Roman periods can be seen below. Going down the other side of the hill through the old town there is the house of Mohamed Ali who ruled in the Ottoman period and a palace which is now a hotel which looks amazing from the boat. Both are open to the public but closed the day we were there!

Thessalonika is only 2 hours from Kavala by bus but much further by sea. We decided to go by bus as the end of summer was approaching and we really wanted to see Greece’s second city and so we were up early in the morning and off to the bus station. It was a lovely journey across the top of the three fingers of Halkidiki and passing lakes which seem to almost cut them off altogether. We managed to find our hotel on public transport which was lovely and although there were lots of other hotels in the area we weren’t sure why as it wasn’t convenient for anything! We walked miles around grimey, crowded, congested, manic streets but it was very interesting - a bit like Rome there are ruins around every corner. It has so much history and so many different cultures. We knew that Larry and Linda (without Debbie who’d gone home) were there and so we arranged to meet them on our first evening and had a lovely meal in a pedestrian, trendy area near the docks filled with bars and tavernas.

First stop the next morning was the White Tower, the symbol of Thessaloniki. On the way we walked through shopping areas, wonderful markets and the grand Aristotle Square. We were a little underwhelmed by the remaining tower but there were boat trips around the harbour in various reconstructions of old ships - and free for the price of an overpriced drink but still a bargain. We boarded our galleon and it was a very pleasant hour and a chance to see the city skyline from the sea. There is a city tour bus run by the bus company charging 2€ right next to the usual red buses charging a lot more. It was a long way up to the castle and so we found the bus stop at 1.50 and found the bus was due at 2.00 - perfect. 20 minutes later we were still there, ummm. 40 minutes later and we were still there and having not had lunch we thought we’d give up and we negotiated 2 busy roads of manic traffic only to see the bus stopped at the traffic lights - we took our life in our hands to retrace our steps only to sit on the bus until 3.00! The tour was awful with the conductor reading from a guide book and talking over the top of a recording which came in between his ramblings in part sentences and neither made sense! Anyway we got to the top of the city and to the citadel where we started with a much needed souvlaki lunch. Walking up through the old town we came to the castle which was an interesting star shape and was used as a prison until the 1980s. Walking back down we had great views all over the city and bay as we followed the city walls stopping to visit a few churches on route. We are a bit churched out but there were some beautiful Byzantine churches in the city. By the time we got back to the bottom everything was closing and we were exhausted and so we walked back to our hotel and collapsed with a bottle of wine and peanuts from the mini bar!

In the morning we continued our tour with the Byzantine church of St Dimitrios built in the 7th century and held a relic of the saint in a silver casket. It was a beautiful church but also had a much older crypt underneath holding pillars, fonts etc from a previous age. Next was the Rotunda built in 306AD and very similar to the Pantheon in Rome - amazing that the whole building is still standing and it’s been in constant use all of that time. Close by was the triumphal arch of Galerius which celebrated his victories with carvings clearly still visible and led to his palace and the Rotunda. And finally the ruins of the palace itself surrounded by the modern high rise apartments! There was much more including the ruins of the huge Roman agora but too much to include - a fascinating city if a bit to manic after life on the islands. Time to get the bus back to a Kavala.

Walking Through History

22 September 2019 | Ormos Eleftheriou - 8,210NM
Lorraine Chapman | Warm and Calm
Just an hour and a half around to the north of the island is Thassos town, our next destination. We moored in the new port which is lots of concrete but secure and sheltered - apart from when the hydrofoil comes in a few times a day! Thassos was a bit late joining the Greek island tourist invasion but it has now caught up and has ferries going back and forth all day. It is full of the same tavernas, tripper boats and tacky souvenir shops selling the same as everywhere else. The crowds are different though - all Eastern Europeans as Thassos is a relatively short journey and only a few miles from the mainland for Bulgarians and the old Yugoslavian countries. The island is beautiful though, mountainous and very green and so we needed to get out of town.

We hired a car and set off to circumnavigate the island which is straightforward with just one road going all the way round and just a few roads leading up to mountain villages. We headed off in an anti-clockwise direction and discovered stunning scenery all the way around with rocky cliffs, turquoise sea and pale green olive groves. The seaside villages were all overdeveloped and so we gave them a miss but we found a couple of beautiful mountain villages with fresh air, forests, lovely views and stunning old houses with stone roofs. We stopped at Giola, a natural rock pool and as we were specifically told we couldn't take our car off tarmac roads, we had a very steep, rocky walk down to the pool which was very impressive in a lovely setting but more than a bit crowded. Our next stop was Alyki, our intended but abandoned anchorage the day before, which is a beautiful small cove blighted with end to end sun beds! There is however an archaeological site on a peninsula with ruins over several periods - a huge Roman sarcophagus, a temple to Apollo from 6C BC and a huge basilica from the first century AD. Very interesting, free and a lovely wander around a beautiful spot. The east coast of Thassos appears to be made entirely of marble which is scattered everywhere and used in very ordinary projects such as edging a road or for breakwaters. There are also huge quarries some of which are still working - we stopped to see one where the colossal face was solid blocks of white marble and huge cubes cut alongside. The mountains of chippings glow white in the sun and are used to gravel gardens! It was a lovely but full on day and we returned the car exhausted!

In started raining in the night! - A boat day mostly on board catching up with chores and a trip to the supermarket when it went off plus a diesel delivery by tanker. The sun was shining again next morning and our final day in Thassos was spent visiting the antiquities around town which were much more extensive than we'd imagined. We started with a visit to the museum and were greeted by an amazing 5m high marble statue in the foyer of a man holding a ram which dated to 600BC making it 2,600 years old! The rest of the museum was interesting and gave us clues as to where else to go. Right next to the museum is the roman agora which is a large area but not a lot left. Next was the ancient port which had a new port built over it but you could see the old port with the bases of round towers on the corners under water beside the new walls - possibly it had sunk in an earthquake. Out on the point we found the remains of a small fortification with an ancient light house in the corner and a new church built in the middle. There was a path going up hill, through pine forest to an amphitheater which was undergoing restoration but we could still see it, plus it had amazing views over town and the port. What an amazing place it must've been to watch a play.

On up the path which was getting steeper and we came to the ancient acropolis of Thassos. There was quite a lot left and it was very atmospheric as the forest was slowly taking over. On up again and we came to the Pytherion temple where the statue in the museum was found. What was left was a huge platform which presumably held an equally huge temple but what was amazing was the walls built with huge blocks around the hill to support it - and again the amazing views. Finally up again to the temple of Pan where little remained apart from a large carved alter and, of course, at the highest point the best views.

What an amazing walk through forests and ruins with fantastic views over turquoise sea, the mainland, islands and port. But it wasn't over. The official route back was back the way we came but that seemed a bit disappointing and we were sure there must be another way! We scrambled down a steep, overgrown, rocky hill and hoped we would find a path at the bottom - which thankfully we eventually did as we had no idea how we would get back up! It wound through an olive grove (in the wrong direction) until we came out onto a track (filled with marble chipping) which wound down the hill back to town where we found yet more ruins - a marble city gate with carvings, a temple to Hercules and a basilica. This had all taken a lot longer than expected as we had no idea there was so much to explore. We'd missed lunch and needless to say had no water with us and so when we reached the port we headed to a taverna for a drink and a yummy late lunch. A great day.

Interactive Map

18 September 2019
Lorraine Chapman
By clicking on the link below you can load an interactive map to see our route and explore the places we stopped at.

Click here for the interactive map

Enjoy!
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