Greek Trek 2017: Patmos

It is time to leave Mykonos but once again I feel like I am back in uniform.  I vacate my room by noon and then hang around the lobby of the hotel until 6:00p.m., when the bus takes everyone down to the port for a ship due to arrive at 6:30p.m.. Once at the port everyone shows their passports to a rather disinterested custom agent.  My chariot once again is the Celestryal Olympia.  Once aboard, having surrendered my passport to the ship’s purser, it is time to look for my assigned cabin.  Like most cruise ships, the cabin is utilitarian but not spacious.  However, the cabin is there for you to sleep and shower.  The rest of the time should consist of roaming the ship with its lounges, swimming area, and dining areas and going on excursions.  This being said, I must make a comment on the shower portion of the cabin.  I have had to use some small showers in my day, but this was a small, small shower.  It was so small you would have to get out of it just to change your mind! But I digress.  Once settled it is off to find a dining facility to eat and then a lounge to relax. 

The Olympia does not leave Mykonos until around 11:00 p.m. setting sail for the port of Kusadasi, Turkey.  The ship arrives early the next morning at Kusadasi but having been in Turkey before, I decided to stay on the ship and try to catch up on some sleep.  Besides, the excursion leaves the ship at some ungodly early time in the morning.  I find the dining facility for breakfast.  It is pretty empty as most passengers are off seeing Kusadasi.  We depart Turkey at 1:00 p.m. and sail to the island of Patmos.  We arrive in the late afternoon and prepare to go ashore to visit the town of Skala.

For those not familiar with this island, it does have a claim to fame.  In the early days of Christianity, Saint John the Divine, also known as John the Apostle and John of Patmos, was exiled to this island and was forced to live in a cave.  While in exile he receives a vision and from that vision came the last book of the Bible: The Book of Revelations. A grand basilica was built on the island was destroyed by Muslim raiders.  Monasteries were built and in 1207 came under the rule of the Republic of Venice.  It was in 1340 that the Knights Hospitaller came to the island and built a fortress.  They stayed until 1522.

The Olympia arrived at Skala but did not dock.  Those of us going ashore had to transfer to tenders, kind of a waterborne taxi, to the dock at Skala.

The port of Skala is small and loaded with tourists.

Docked in the harbor are the luxury yachts of the rich and famous.

High above Skala is the town of Chora and the Castle of Patmos can be seen from the docks.

And, of course, the obligatory tourist gift shop is right at the docks as well.

In the town square the locals sit with the tourists enjoying a libation and to see what the crazy tourists are going to do next.

And in the heat, and it was very hot, a vendor sells pop corn with the help of Mickey and Minnie.

I noticed that the streets look the same on all the islands.

Found a nice bakery just inside the town.

Here is just a small sample of the goodies for sale.

It is July and that means heat and humidity.  I was in shorts, a tee shirt and sandals. I was still hot.  Then I saw this muslim woman and I was even hotter.  She looks as cool as a cucumber and not showing the slightest concern for the heat and humidity.

This was a welcome sight.  Nothing like a nice ice cream shop on a hot day to cool you off.  They had not shortage of customers either.

If ice cream isn’t your thing, there was a liquor store close by.

Churches like this one abound on the island.

Even the side streets are picturesque.

Motor bikes are a primary transportation vehicle on Patmos. 

If you have an international driver’s license you can rent a motorbike to get around.

But remember, even in this serene setting, the long arm of the law is there.

Of course Patmos has its share of island kitties just like Mykonos.  This one didn’t even budge when I approached to take a photo.

The pharmacy here is not as grand as the pharmacies in America.

The aid station is small and up a small alley.

Craftsmen and artist studios are open to the public with beautiful items for sale.

But this lovely lady was in front of a cosmetic store.

Most unusual name for a store but definitely gets your attention.  Didn’t know I lost anything.  (Except maybe my mind)

After a look down one last street. . .

. . . and one last shop, it is time to leave Patmos.

 I go to the waterfront to board my chariot for an all night sailing to Rhodes.  Patmos was a nice respite.  Rhodes promises to be a bit more challenging.

Copyright © 2018  John J Campo

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