Lemnos, Final Reflections and on to Agios Efstratios

Where did the time go on Lemnos? It went all too quickly that’s for sure. My days have usually started with a simple breakfast on my small balcony overlooking an orchard of pomegranates, oranges and quince, almost all ready for harvesting. Yoghurt, local thyme honey, peaches and a cup of tea will more than suffice. The Kastro peaks out from just beyond the trees, its presence continually felt no matter where you may be in Myrina. The Greek flag from the castle tower billows in the early autumnal breeze and along with the occasional scent of burning wood in the air, signals the changing of the season. The only sounds are the crows cawing in a nearby olive grove and the ringing of the church bells. On Sunday morning the gentle breeze carries the melodious chants of the priest to within listening distance of my ears. Such small things can bring so much contentment.

Once out of the hotel courtyard, a cobbled street leads me down to the Marketplace. If you arrive in the morning there are some signs of life, locals doing a bit of shopping and sometimes hanging out in the coffee bars or the small square shaded by plane trees. Come afternoon the Marketplace is empty, the shops are shut and you can walk down this beautiful vine-covered street alone, window shopping in the beautiful artisan shops without disturbance.

One Saturday night I entered the Marketplace to see a large crowd in front of the small square. Someone was giving a speech and several priests were on hand to give some kind of blessing. Although I didn’t understand what was being discussed, it hadn’t escaped my attention that elections were about to take place. Various offices along the street were supporting a selection of various candidates. My subscription to Limnos Live – although written in Greek, the headlines are always written in English and so through this I was able to get the gist.

I did have a very rare beach day down at the beach of Nea Madytos which lies between the two harbour arms. The beach is pure sand which is quite gritty in texture but barely a rock or piece of seaweed in sight. The water shelves gently down and is a very good beach for children and families. There are wooden parasols lining the beach and of course the shade of trees.

It is incredible to have the Kastro above you whilst lying on the beach. Watching the coming and going of the ferries is always a fascination. I’d been pondering on which boat to get to my next destination, the small island of Agios Efstratios. When searching online for the connections, it will only bring up the large conventional ferries. The Aqua Blue would suit my itinerary well. However, once I’d arrived on Lemnos, I’d spotted a boat moored up in the port most days and then seemed to disappear in the afternoon. After searching for it online by its name Aeolis, I discovered that this is the Agios Efstratios local boat. It departs from Agios Efstratios every day at 0630 and then returns from Lemnos at 1430 – the journey takes about two and a half hours.

The Aqua Blue is scheduled to depart at 2145, arriving at Agios Efstratios just after 2300 – a much shorter journey. However, it wasn’t the timings of the boats that swayed me. As much as I love a quirky little local boat, The Psara Glory and the Oinoussai iii are good examples of this, I didn’t feel particularly drawn to this boat – not to sail on anyway. When I looked at her I couldn’t help thinking of Captain Pugwash for some reason. Although I don’t get seasick, I wasn’t convinced that if the winds were to pick up this would be a particularly comfortable journey. So I booked my ticket on the Aqua Blue.

Another reason why I liked this little beach is because of its close proximity to two lovely tavernas overlooking the small marina (mentioned in earlier posts). The other beaches along the coast of the Roman Shore are equally nice but tend to be a little bit busier. Not that there are lots of people on the beaches but at times I could be the only person on Nea Madytos.

The beaches along the Roman Shore have more facilities such as a good selection of tavernas and cantinas. The day before I left I’d planned to have another beach day only to discover that the council were in the process of removing the wooden parasols for winter. The tops were unscrewed and piled into the back of a truck whilst the bases were hauled out of the sand by a digger. I guess the season really is coming to an end – though you’d never know by gauging the weather.

If you continue walking along the Roman Shore to the next bay away from the centre of Myrina, there is a small memorial dedicated to those executed on the island during World War ii. It is set just off the main road and down a dozen or so steps.

Back in Myrina town, the church Agia Triados. It’s set within beautiful grounds and is worth taking a detour from the main road to go and visit. Next to the church is a small unassuming bridge called the Historic Holy Trinity Bridge. Nearly all of the key sites of interest in and around Myrina have information boards and some with QR codes that will facilitate self-guided walks.

Another walk that I did was to the small church of St Nikolaos that sits directly above the port. It’s worth mentioning that the harbour is big. If you are staying in the town and have a boat to catch it is a bit of a trek. However, without luggage it is an easy walk and with great views back over to the town and Kastro. Once level with the harbour a steep path with take you up to the church.

I’ve had some really good meals in Myrina. Apart from the restaurants by the marina that I’ve already mentioned there are a couple of others that deserve a bit of recognition.

Down on the Roman Shore one night I had a meal at Kosmos Taverna. It sits right on the waters edge and on this particular night the waves were crashing onto and over the harbour wall. It paid to take a table one row back. When you walk into a taverna and wonder why nobody is taking the best tables in the house you’ve got to wonder why. 😊

Anyway, it’s a great location with lovely food and if you’re lucky a good view of the sunset.

For my last night on Lemnos Lucy suggested that I eat at Sinialo Taverna down one of the side streets off the Market Place. It is very popular and I can understand why. The food is all freshly cooked and at a very reasonable price.

And that is it. My time on Lemnos came to an end. My time here has been wonderful and extraordinary and my heartfelt thanks to the two people that gave me their time during my stay.

I caught the Aqua Blue to Agios Efstratios at night and here I am exploring another new island. More soon!

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