…The Triangle Of Happiness…
” We’ve gone back!!” Shouted Mum, then in unison from both Mum and Geoff came the cry of ” ENGINE BATTERY! ” then ” get the engine on! ”
It was safe to say that by this time, I was awake! Mum and Geoff had sprinted onto deck, mum called me up aswell, even though I was still in pyjamas…. It was 5am!
Mum was already in her wetsuit and instructed me to zip her up. Geoff was carefully motoring slowly forwards, making sure the prop was clear of the rocky seabed. The boat was driving forwards ok, and the fact that Doris ( the dinghy ) had been tied broadside to the stern of the yacht had saved the back or even the rudder touching because she was acting like a giant fender!
Once out into deep water again i was instructed to use the throttle in drive and astern to keep the boat in one place whilst mum swam back for the lines and geoff raised the anchor and hauled ropes aboard as mum slipped them.
The wind and the current were still strong, mum said it was a tough swim, it was tricky keeping the boat still against the gusts but finally we were clear and went to find a calmer bay to take stock and clear away a little.
After a couple of coffees we aimed for the sea again, knowing we would be facing a bumpy ride with the wind on the nose blowing a steady 25/30 knots. It was a very bouncy trip to say the least and with some relief we moored neatly into Samos Marina.
Located in the Eastern part of the Aegean Sea, east of the windiest island, Ikaria, and south of Chios, Samos is the birth place of the famous mathematician and great philosopher Pythagoras, but the island also boasts great coastlines which offer walkers unique experiences, wonderfully peaceful beaches, and the famous desert wines, which has made a name for itself worldwide.
The island is the closest of the Greek islands to the Turkish coastline and is also the greenest island, since it gets the most rainfall of any other Greek island.
The island is very picturesque, with small red tiled buildings which line the glistening coastline, and shimmering, dusty roads that connect each town to the other. The dotted houses in the hills are nestled in with the olive trees and Cyprus trees, and above it all are the nine wind turbines that keep the island going. Down at the waters edge, many families and friends enjoy themselves on the sandy beaches, which are neighboured by many tavernas and shops.
The island can be reached by boats from Athens, Rhodes and Kavala, but the international airport to the south of the island makes for a quicker trip from the rest of Europe.
The 25mile Long Island contains lots of history, starting from the Third Millennium BC, proven by finds near Pythagoria. In the year 1000BC, The island was inhabited by the Ionians, where they believed in and worshipped Hera. The Ionians continued their long and treasured tradition when in the 7th Century BC, they built the Temple of Hera.
During the period it was governed by Polycrates, the island was transformed into a great navel base and soon started taking over its own colonies. This leadership soon came to an end though, when the great leader Polycrates, was assassinated by Persian Satrap. After this, it became part of the Persian empire until the Persians were defeated by the Athenians. The island then became part of the Delian Alliance, a small group within the Athenian League(478BC)
After, it was taken by the Macedonians, then the Romans and then the Byzantines, but these left it vulnerable and it was immediately attacked by pirates, Goths and Huns.
When the Byzantines left, the Ottoman Empire took control in 1204. In 1475, the island was struck by a large and powerful earthquake, which some believe was caused by a volcanic tremor on Nisyros, over 60miles away!
For one hundred years, the island was left abandoned until some Christians ran away from Turkey and came to live on Samos. The years flew by and in 1821, the people of Samos lead a rebellion against the Turkish. They managed to drive them out, but their fate was already destined when the great powers of Italy, France, Britain and America had decided that the island should stay part of the Ottoman Empire.
When the Ottomans finally left, the island became part of the Greek republic in 1913, unlike it southern neighbours, who were given to the Italians and put under their control until 1948.
WHAT TO DO BITS
Vathy has been The capital of the island since 1832 and there are many interesting and peaceful things to do. The island has been a cultural centre since ancient times, as it boasts a great amount of History and art. For example, a walk through the town would take you through 4 different centuries, and the amount of museums ( when you can find them and if you find them open ) can make the island feel alive. In Vathy, there is the wine museum, the archeological museum and the natural history museum, out of all of these the wine museum was my favourite…( hic ) and in Pythagoria, there is another archeological museum and a folklore museum, and a maritime museum aswell as the monument to Pythagoras, a set of castle ruins and a monastery. As if this wasn’t enough for the archaeological addict in you all the Temple of Hera and the town of Herion have both been designated as UNESCO World heritage sites.
In the centre of Pythagoria, there are the remains of a castle called “Lycourgos Logothetes”, and in the middle is a cemetery, and a monastery, where there is a brilliant view over the Aegean Sea, Turkey and on clear days, Agathonisi. Also in the area is the Tunnel of Eumpalinos, which was built in the sixth century and supplied the island with water -(tours can be arranged). Nearby, on the hill that looks over Pythagoria is the Caves of Pythagoras, where a church is built 94 steps inside. It is also the site of where the three hand made carts go into the cave in order to collect the precious holy water.
A walk around the shops in Pythagoria satisfies any bodies quest for lovlieness ( just ask mum! ) and also illustrates the locals passion for this unassuming little island. What the island may lack in ” Symi style” picture postcard opportunities is made up for with the warm and welcoming characters that work and stay in the town. Keen to welcome and help traveller and tourist alike, each holds a surprisingly large wealth of historical information about the place where, largely, they were born.
As well as Pythagoras being a mathematician and creating the Pythagoras Theorem, which is when in maths, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides on a right angle, he also created the fair cup. The fair cup is an invention he created for when he gave lessons to his student, halfway through the lessons they’d have a wine break. His cup that he created meant that nobody could have more than the other, because he believed in equality. So in the cup that he created, there is a line that your drink can be filled up to or below, because if it surpasses the line in the ceramic glass, all of the greedy mans drink would be gone and they would not be allowed to have any.