Aegean Day 12

Alinia

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In the morning we motored to a calm bay in Alinia, as the waves were getting a bit dicey. Swimming (I did a quick swim just to cool down, as there’s hardly a breeze), kayaking, paddle boarding, sunning. Many other boats coming and going, keeping the number at about eight, including a few full of rowdy swimmers, one sailboat all of the way from Australia, and two catamarans.

Symi

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After lunch another swim (that old rule forbidding swimming after eating has been thrown out), then we continue to the beautiful island of Symi with its lovely neoclassical port town, one of the prettiest sights in the Mediterranean. I don’t agree.  I think Chalki was prettier.  There are all sorts of fake details on the buildings here, such as these eyebrows over the windows, the pediments that don’t have an attic vent that have a fake circle painted there.  And the Corinthian pilasters.  And the dentils.  (IMG_6380Check out the light blue pediment on the front center yellow building in the right photo.)  Yeah, this is Greece and it’s supposed to have classical architecture, but this town is overdone for tourists.  At least the shutters shut!  (One of my beefs with so many American houses, shutters bolted down for ornamentation on ugly buildings.) I’m the sole proponent of form follows function in our group. But there were a couple of houses that I liked with shed roofs rather than the typical gable.  Nice contrast to all of the
folderol.

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We climb what seems like hundreds of stairs to an ancient wall and a view of the entire town and harbour and the humongous cruise ship. (Many people on such a ship say they’ve been to Greece, but never leave the boat, lucky for us, but the ship does obscure the view, until it leaves, with a lot of braying horns saying goodbye. There had been such a ship in Venice and I heard that the city was considering not allowing them as few of the passengers spend any money in town.)

A stop for drinks halfway down at a kafeneio, the patio covered by a grape arbor over what would be a street if it weren’t for all of the stairs, with children dashing past us, no couch potatoes here.

shellfishA quick stop at the boat to freshen up, then fish dinner along the noisy harbour, motorscooters, cars and small trucks sharing what looks like a one-lane road along the edge of our tables, and the boats beyond, crowded together with centimeters to spare. Lots of wine followed by a shot of masticha, made from tree sap on the island of Helios.

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