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Saturday, June 25, 2011

EXPLORING PRETTY POROS


We got here three days ago and liked it so much we've decided to stay another day.  Poros ("The ford") is one of the green Saronic Gulf Islands just a short distance off the coast of the Peloponnese separated by a narrow strait.  It's actually made up of two islands divided by a shallow canal with a bridge crossing. Poros Town (Sferia) is a busy little port with a large harbour for ferries and yachts.  Kallavia is the quieter area across the canal.
Poros Town (Sferia)
We are staying in a refurbished old mansion, now the Hotel Dionysos, overlooking the harbour.  In spite of the buzz of the little pakakias (motor bikes) and cars, it is mostly quiet, especially early mornings and later in the evening, with a beathtaking display of nightly sunsets that paint the sky gold and crimson.  All along the harbour are huge yachts from various ports around the Mediterraean and even England.  And there is also an anchorage for smaller sailboats.
Hotel Dionysos


There aren't many tourists here and those are mainly Scandanavians.  The Swedes love this island and it is their archaeological society who tend the excavations here.  There's no shortage of excellent tavernas along the harbour as well as interesting shops with good quality merchandise -- not much of the cheap tourist trinkets usually for sale.  We spotted a dress shop last night near our hotel and intend to return to make some purchases.
Poros main street

 Kanali Beach

Yesterday I took a taxi up the mountain to the Temple of Poseidon where the famed orator Demosthenes fled after the Athenians were defeated by Macedon at the Battle of Charonea.  He had been making speeches, publishing anti Macedonian pamphlets and defaming King Philip and Alexander.  So rather than face what might happen if he were captured, he chose to drink poison and commited suicide at this sanctuary.


Temple of Poseidon


Monastary Garden
The road from the port winds up the mountain through the pine forests affording magnificent panoramic views of the island and sea.  There are excavations at the Sanctuary, although most of the building materials were removed during the 17th and 18th centuries and some taken to Hydra.  I stayed long enough to take some photos which I'll include here later. 
Lots of yachts and sailboats in Poros' harbour

Then the taxi wound back down the mountain to the beautiful 18th century monastary of Zoodhouho Piyis. I didn't go inside but browsed in the lovely courtyards where there were flowers and shade trees. 
Most of the time we are spending on the little sandy beach at Kanali, about a 10 minute walk from our hotel.  And at night we go to the Poseidon Taverna for excellent food, everything from sea food to Cordon Bleu.  Prices are reasonable and the waiters attentive.  In fact, we've found most all the locals friendly and helpful.
Me and the Mermaid


Of course the usual applied to the young woman working in the little tourist office next to our hotel who didn't seem to have a clue, nor cared to check for us, when we inquired about buses from the mainland to Gythion. (Claimed we had to go all the way back to Athens to get there!!!)  Typical here.  I often wonder what training these 'tourism' people have to go through before getting work as it has happened frequently in the past.  Best to do your own investigating and know where you are going.
Poros Sunset
Poros is a pretty island, and worth a visit.  In all the years I lived in and have visited Greece this was only the second time I came here. The first was on a rainy day back in the '80's when my friend and I stopped briefly while on a 3-island boat cruist.  I can totally recommend it as a good, quiet get-away, far from the tourist bustle of the Cyclades and by far just as beautiful!

2 comments:

marula said...

Sounds wonderful! How are the room rates @ Hotel Dionysos? Do they expect to be full in the end of July?

NagaRaj Raj said...

More often than not all are spending on the minimal sandy shoreline at Kanali, around a 10 minute stroll from new lodging. What's more, around evening time all are go to the Poseidon Taverna for incredible sustenance, everything from ocean bottom to Cordon Bleu. Costs are sensible and the servers mindful.The autonomy of having an auto can appear liberating at first, however in the event that you anticipate driving that auto into a noteworthy downtown area expect high stretch, gridlock, and stopping bad dreams. For numerous explorers, an car rentals kochi may appear like a need simply in view of their every day schedule. Truth be told, discovered most every one of local people cordial and supportive. At that point the taxi twisted down the mountain to the excellent eighteenth century monastary of Zoodhouho Piyis. The street from the port winds up the mountain through the pine backwoods bearing wonderful all encompassing perspectives of the island and ocean. There are unearthing at the Sanctuary, albeit the greater part of the building materials