Day 6: May 11, 2008 - Sifnos
Laura is letting me write this one…we got into the port of Kamares again around 11:00, and it was raining. We set out to explore the town a little and possibly rent a scooter (not a four-wheeler, to save some money and now that I'm more comfortable driving around the hilly roads). However, the cold/rainy weather deterred us from going that route. Unlike the previous ports, we only took 1 picture before going back to ship. As we were walking along the streets we passed a pizzeria that smelled so good, but they didn't open until dinner - bookmark that one for dinner. We decided the get some seafood that Laura was dying over, although this town didn't have nearly the restaurant selection as the other ports we went to. All was good and Laura got some Mussels in a tomato sauce, while I got a fried fish fillet that beat the heck out of London's fish & chips. We had a peaceful and quiet lunch until the annoying American students, which we learned by overhearing were from Berkley (they are the reason Europeans don't like us) decided to sit near us. We overheard their stories of retarded drunkenness from the nights before, and one which stood out was one of the girls saying that her family never orders appetizers (I think they ordered all but one of the appetizers on the menu) and they never really order drinks either - they all just get water and drink from their dad's coke, and I thought our family was cheap…I mean frugal.
We decided to go back to the ship and hop in the hot tub, but it was full - gee imagine that, nothing else to do on a rainy day. So we waited around for a few hours looking at our photos and then around 16:00 (I'm real European now, using military time) it stopped raining so we decided to check out those scooters. They were only 10 euros and full of gas - I was supposed to return it full of gas, but the only gas station that we saw on the whole island was closed on our way back, and the guy only charged me 2 euros even though the tank was nearly empty.
We headed out looking for the town of Artemonas, not realizing we passed it and ended up instead in search of Kastro. This little town was situated on top of a hill behind "ancient walls" - which we couldn't really tell the difference between the non-ancient walls, but we did see an area that was roped off where they cut into the hill. Anyways we got some nice pictures from the hill and from a nearby rocky area below.
We then headed out to find Artemonas again, but instead stumbled upon a big windmill way up on another hill/mountain - when do you call it a hill and mountain? From here we took a lot of pictures of the towns below and the mountains out in the distance. We also tried some "artsy" pictures of ourselves posing by the railing and edge of the windmill - Laura claims that I never want to take pictures with her, well I never want to because I'm always the one that has to ask other people to take the picture and it's too much of a hassle for me - I just won a bet and in the next city Laura has to ask in a Japanese accent for someone to take a picture of us, ha! Anyways from the windmill hill/mountain we noticed how they separate sections of land with 1 foot high rock walls, and they also use similar rock walls to make steps into the hills so that they can have flat land to use.
After going down the hill and back through a section that we already passed, we noticed that it was actually Artemonas, however, we didn't see the "classic mansions" that our map from the cruise described. O well, off to Faros in search of the town named after the "large lighthouse" another description we never found. The town was another very pretty port village. From here we saw a church on a small rocky peninsula, which we would later find - highlight of the trip too! We also saw this cool hill across the cove that had an old wall scaling up to a small church atop the hill. I thought there were wind chimes over there, but at a closer look I noticed a herd of cows climbing along the hill.
In search of the hill with the old wall we came to Platys Gialos, which means wide seashore or large waterside - according to the literature from the cruise. We didn't go down into the town, because we had less than half a tank of gas left and the only station we found was towards the beginning of our journey. We had seen a sign for white tower, so we decided to go along that road to see what it was. This ended up being the church, called Saoures, on the rocky peninsula we had seen from Faros. This was probably the coolest thing we had seen on the island - and that says a lot because we had already seen a lot of things with the windmill, towns, and mountainous seashore. A bridge small, rock, bridge (about 10 feet long) led to the island that the church sat on. Behind the church a painted, rock stairwell led to the edge of the island where a circular gate enclosed what seemed to be a baptism bath. This must be #1 on the top 10 places to have your kid baptized! We were pushing our luck w/ gas and time - it was 19:00 and the sun sets at 20:30 and we don't know how long it will take us to get back.
On the way back I was much more comfortable riding the scooter, so I was able to enjoy swerving around the mountainous roads - I tried to capture it on video. Don't worry though, Mom, I was still being safe, especially with Laura sitting behind me. The scooter was faster than the four-wheeler - flat speed around 45 kmh and downhill speed maybe 65 kmh. As mentioned above, the gas station that we were told to fill up at the closet town to our port town, was closed and even though our tank was nearly empty we only owed 2 euros. What a great surprise to another awesome day! We never thought that a rainy day would turn into this.
We ended up cleaning up and going to the pizzeria that we passed by earlier. It tasted just as good as it smelled. I got a sausage pizza - more like hotdog on pizza - still delicious though with cheese that fell off the crust and very large too! Thank goodness for those lactose pills. Laura got their special, which was some type of ravioli filled with meet. And of course we had some wine with the meal. We have yet to have bad wine in Greece, hopefully that keeps up! With plans of catching the last night's farewell party on deck, we took a "short nap" which ended up in Laura waking up to pack then asking if I was waking up and me going "uhhhh" and rolling over - we have to do a better job of our nightlife in the future.