Kythnos – Dryopida and the Katafyki Caves

Today we are going to visit the village of Dryopida  Like Kea there isn’t a bus service running at this time of year so we book a taxi – or rather Katerina phones for a taxi for us.  The journey takes us up spiraling roads above Chora and then drops down again it Dryopida itself.  We are dropped off on the main street leading into the village.  Dryopida used to be the capital of the island and takes its name from it’s first settlers on the island, the Driopes.

http://www.kythnosislandgreece.com/kythnosislandtravelguide/kythnosislandtownsvillages/dryopidavillagekythnosisland/index.html

One of the places of interest are the Katafyki Caves that are said to be some of the best in Greece. We weren’t 100% sure that the caves would be open to the public at this time of year. We start by exploring the streets and hope to discover the location of the caves whilst doing so.

After a leisurely amble around the really attractive streets we stop for brunch at Cafe Dryopsis.  The old man from the cafe told us that the cave wasn’t open at this time of year as it was still low season. Oh what a disappointment. However, it has definitely been worth the taxi fare over to Dryopida just to suck up the charm factor of the village.

We ordered a Greek salad and a ‘special’ omelette with tea. As we tucked into the salad and tea a group of about 20 elderly Greek ladies walked by.

Within seconds the man from the cafe in broken English and lots of hand gestures told us to follow the group of women. It seems they were here on an organised trip to the cave.  The man indicated that our food would be ready for us when we came back.  We grabbed our bags and followed – not sure whether we would be welcome to join them or not.  We asked the guide if it was OK to tag along and he said yes. What a stroke of luck!

I’m quite glad that we had joined a party of elderly ladies as the descent into the cave was slow which gave me time to pace myself – and my vertigo.  The Katafyki Caves are said to be the largest and best caves in Greece.  The year before I had visited the Caves of Antiparos a second time but couldn’t make it to the bottom because of my ‘condition’.  Katafyki may be big but isn’t as deep as Antiparos – at least I could make it to the bottom!

Back at Cafe Dryopsis our tea is still warm and our omelettes were brought to us fresh from the pan. Some of the ladies from the group also came to the cafe to eat.  They were also drinking ouzo and I didn’t need to understand the language that they were (to use a Norther phrase) ‘a right rum bunch’.

We had another wander around the village and noticed examples of the villages pottery heritage in the architecture everywhere.

Dryopida is really pretty and I just can’t stop taking photographs

At the last minute we decide to go to the port to spend the afternoon and also to buy our ferry tickets to Serifos.

There isn’t much to the little port of Merichas.  It’s nice enough but we’re so glad that we decided to stay in the pretty little Chora. Still there are some nice views from one of the coastal paths alongside the deep harbour and it gives us the chance to see some of our old friends come and go.

That evening the wind began to pick up and was quite breezy.  We have another walk around the Chora before going for dinner.  We walk around the outskirts of the Chora to catch the sunset.  We start off by walking through the cemetary next to Filoxenia which is illuminated by candles in lanterns down the walkway. Then another walk through the village to a side street leading out to views over to the church of Panagia Nikos which offers us spectacular views of the sunset. We plan to make time to walk out to the church tomorrow before we leave.

We are eating a little bit later this evening and have a wider selection of tavernas to choose from.  We choose To Steki Tou Ntentzi on the main street but eat inside because of the wind which had begun to pick up over the last few days.  We had Greek salad, caper sauce made with potatoes, local sausage for me and kebab for Peter.  The restaurant is very popular with local people and the decor is rustic with a modern twist.  It was an excellent meal in nice surroundings and a lovely way to spend our last evening on Kythnos.

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