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Blog from Icaria

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Drawn by an enthusiastic description in The Lonely Planet, we took a ferry to the so-called Red island, Icaria, so named because many Greek communists were exiled here after the Greek Civil War, which followed World War II.

We took a cab to the Dionysus Hotel in the hamlet of Kambos (100 inhabitants) up a winding road three kilometers from the secondary port of Evdilos (about 500 inhabitants) and met the reputedly effusive Vassilis; however although the location was uphill, our stay was downhill and a reminder that you can’t always go by the guide book. For one thing, Vassilis had told us on the phone that the room would be “45 degrees,” jokingly, but the room at that price had no window. The better room was 55 euro and we took it. We then trekked downhill 500 meters to the beach, a trial for Barbara and her famous weak knees. The waves were so strong that she couldn’t venture in, although Irwin battled the waves for a short time and then gave up. We walked back to Vassilis, and then another 500 meters or so to the “village” and had a moderately interesting dinner at the one restaurant, which overlooked the terraced hills — stunning. This island is a photographer’s dream even if all we do is point and shoot. Sites include two mules on the way from our hotel to the “hamlet” and the never-ending and overwhelming cicadas.

We had planned to stay four nights at the Dionysus but realized one would be more than sufficient. In the morning, Vassilis made us a delightful breakfast of yogurt with honey and fruit and “fritters” which we had thought was included in the price but turned out to cost 5 euro each. Okay. He hailed us a cab, which arrived an hour later and we returned to the village of Evdilos, which we have come to love in just a few short hours.

We dined twice today at a fabulous little fish restaurant overlooking the harbour and watched the children swim in the clear still waters that run deep.

At 4:30 am (not really our choice) we are taking the ferry back to Samos town, Vathie, for two nights and then we hope to be off to Lesvos.

Evdilos is the first village we’ve visited where there is virtually no English spoken or written on menus and tourists are a tiny minority. No hustling either. Our hotel is modern with a pool, which we enjoyed immensely this afternoon. We’ll send you our marvelous pictures tomorrow.



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