05.07.2010 - 15.07.2010 95 °F
Hi everyone. I can't believe that it has been so long since our last posting. Time goes by so fast! We traveled from the ruins of Ephesus by ferry to the island of Samos, Greece. There is an immediately different vibe in this country. There are more tourists, cafes that serve espresso and not just instant coffee, and everything costs twice as much! The friendly hospitality that we were getting used to was no longer there. That doesn't mean that we didn't have fun though! We had a great view from our room in Samos where we saw this sunset:
We also visited a museum where they stole artifacts from ruins in the area. The original head of this statue was taken by archeologists and is now in a museum in Germany?
Although the beaches are rocky, the sun is hot and the water is pleasant. We have spent a little time everyday to catch a ray and take a dip:
Another Samos sunset (my family would say there is a green flash behind us!):
From Samos we took a boat to Kalymnos, an island further south in the Dodecanese. Here is our ferry giving birth:
The first day in Kalymnos we met Jamie, who convinced us to come to Vathy beach with him and his family to climb on the rocks above the water. It is called Deep Water Soloing where you climb until you fall or jump and land in the water. We traversed out along the rock about 250-300 meters. Part way along the traverse a tour boat pulled up alongside us and we heard the guide say, "Kalymnos is very famous for climbing and ... ooh... on the rocks over there you can see two climbers right now!" All the tourists on the boat went to one side and a hundred people snapped our picture! Kym says that she is famous now!
There are lots of climbing sectors on the island and we climbed three more days. Kym sorting our gear:
One sector is called the "Grande Gotta." It is a cave with stalactites coming from the ceiling called tufas. Using these tufas it is then possible to climb on nearly horizontal walls.
Climbing another day with Jamie, he talked me into following him on a line in the Grotta. It starts about 10 degrees from vertical and ends about 10 degrees from horizontal. The route we took was called DNA (7a+). I have never attempted a route that hard and it took a little motivating, and despite a few falls, I was very surprised that I actually did finish it!
Just after that route, Kym was talked into leading a 6a route (5.10b in US grading). That was the hardest she has ever climbed and she did a fantastic job! She has improved so much it is really fun to watch.
Another day at the crag:
Greeks love backgammon almost as much as the Turks and I have grown to love it as well. Even when Kym comes up with an amazing come from behind victory rolling four sets of doubles in a row!
Kym sporting the fantastic new fashions of the scooter community:
The view from our studio:
We crossed to the island of Telendos, a 5 min ride away, for a view of the sunset and dinner. The view of a Kalymnian sunset:
A day at the Odyssey Sector:
Our next stop in Greece was Santorini, where we still are today. The ferry that took us there was massive. It had restaurants, cabins, even two decks for trucks.
On Santorini we rented a scooter to tour the island. Our first stop was the Red Beach.
We visited some smaller towns and eventually made it to Oia for a view of the sunset. Some pics of the drive north:
We found a front row seat at a bar to watch the sunset with a couple drinks. Kym's Margarita...and yes I think they added Malibu. Why would someone do that?!:
The actual sunset was very nice, despite the hype:
Yesterday we visited a wine museum. It was very interesting to see the old presses and the ways in which they made wine hundreds of years ago. The arid climate here is ideal for growing grapes and most people even have their own vineyards. Every restaurant has their own house wine. It is very fun to try them.
For the last evening here we went to Santo Wines, a winery with another great view of the sunset.
Today we will travel to Naxos for one night and then we head inland to Meteora and then finish our travels in Athens. We miss you all and can't believe that it is so close to the end.