…The Volcanic Island…
13th/14th July 2016
We are told that one day, Poseidon God of the sea, cut of a chunk off the nearest island, Kos, and threw it to kill the giant Polybotes. This rock that fell into the sea became the volcanic island of Nisyros. The story also adds that Polybotes wasn’t killed, but crushed, so when the volcano erupts or there is an earthquake, this is said to be Polybotes groaning with pain, and almost certainly, thinking up a revenge plan to kill Poseidon.
Lying between Kos and Tilos, the island is full of lots of history, and is very interesting to visit. The island mainly welcomes people on day trips from Kos, aswell as sailors whom normally stop for a night. The two main towns on the island are Mandraki and Pali, however, Mandraki is more equipped for tourism, but for sailors, Pali is better placed.
May I just state here that last night I learned an invaluable lesson that was that when you type a page full of text on an I pad air and leave it in notes in order to select it and paste it into a WordPress document later, well, when you get it wrong and select it and cut the text instead of copying it, erm… Well, then, the text is GONE!
This isn’t a good thing! Especially as the history, overview and what to do bits were enormous and concise! Therefore, if my blog – late- and trimmed seems a little less than my normal offerings, please forgive me and try and understand the frustration, I hope the photos may make up for it!
Between the 5th century BC, and 5th century AD, the island was home to the Carians, Athenians, Romans, Eygptians, Macedonia, Byzntines and Knights of St John in 1308. In 1455, 1457, and 1471, the Ottoman Empire try to occupy the island, but each attempt failed. At last, the Ottomans conquer the island in 1523, but in 1912 the Italian forces took control until the end of the war, when it was then unified with the Greek republic. Then in 1953, the most devastating earthquake takes place on the island, and causes many deaths. This obviously isn’t great for the Greeks, who have just got their island back!
WHAT TO DO BITS
The capital of the island, Mandraki has many small backstreets with many lovlieness shops which mother loves. The town also has a castle which looks over the town and from which There is a beautiful view, two churches nestle into the mountainside! May I point out that there wasn’t enough time in our day to visit church, castle, church in Mandraki, we stumbled upon the Nisiros museum of Archaeology which is buried deep in the islands back streets, we spent way too long here, as the museum is so interesting and well worth finding and visiting!
We had hired scooters for the day today, mum on her own and Geoff with myself riding pillion. As mums baptism of scooterism the windy, narrow mountain roads were a real testing ground for her and she “whooped” on every steep bend!
Our aim was to cover Mandraki, the volcanoes caldera and the picturesque village of Emporia on the way back from our tour.
The approach to the caldera itself, after the windy mountain roads was eerily surreal. It was almost like driving through a desert into a Wild West scenario. On occasion a scent of gas would waft past your nose, so sublime that you would imagine you had smelled it. Once on the final approach to the main crater of Stefanos itself the gas and sulphur smell was enormously apparant, too much to imagine it was an idea!
The crater itself can be accessed, there are ropes for your own safety cordon img off the VERY live area of this volcanoe. Here the mud bubbles and sulphur crystals form and turn the ground and rocks yellow. There are small gas escapes and if you run your hands above the holes in the ground the air escaping is SO hot, it’s scary!
The day was already hot and entering the caldera was like walking into the Sahara! There are three or four more calderas to explore, but we were ready for a coke and some shade after Stefanos!
The Technical Bits.
Parking in the marina at Pali is straightforward (!) an or down and two shore lines. Electric and water are available, many restaurants, car or moped hire facilities ashore!
The average price for a yacht our size was 15 euros a night and don’t be put off by what you may read in pilot books which declare shallow depths. The harbour has been dredged and cleanly draws three metres! Watch the entrance though!