Across the straights from Fourni you will be able to see the small settlement on Thymena so close you feel like you can almost touch it. You will see a cluster of whitewashed houses set amphitheatrically (becoming an overused word!) on the hillside with a small mountain looming above. Thymena so called because of the abundance of wild thyme that grows on virtually any nook or cranny but to be fair – it is quite rampant on most of these surrounding islands and islets! Going back to the lobster image, Thymena would be the left claw with Chrysomilia being the right claw.
The small car ferry the Megelochari will take you there for the grand sum of 80 cents each way. You can purchase the ticket from the ticket office on the main street next to Alpha Bank. Not exactly the correct spelling of my name but did make me laugh!
The ferry departs at 8am and the journey takes 10 minutes and transports not only visitors to the island but all of the necessary utilities such as the refuse collection truck, workmen contracted to do building work and a whole host of deliveries shipped from the Athens on the large ferries that calls into Fourni. There does seem to be a bit of tourist activity here as two people board the boat with luggage in tow going back to Fourni.
To the left there is a small church with views up to the bigger church and over the bay.
The small port and marina is all things fishing. Small boats come and go throughout the day and when not fishing, the fishermen are mending nets or maintaining their boats. The ramshackle fishermen’s huts on the beach although weather worn and covered in the patina of time, exude a certain charm.
A set of stone steps from the port take you past a small kafenio and then all the way up to the top of the village and the main road. The only person that passes me is a straw hat clad elderly lady, dropping off branches of greenery to goats in a pen and then on she goes.
Above the beach is a small cantina which is closed but it is still early in the morning. It seems the kafenio is the only place open for refreshments so I stop by for a cup of tea and an ice cream ( well it’s never too early!).
I head off back towards the cantina and take another set of stone steps upwards to where I can see a stone church. When I reach the top a group of elderly ladies point me in the right direction – after all the streets are a maze!
On this level there is a school, a medical centre (I’m not sure it could be described as a hospital) and the church. Above the church is square with a huge plane tree which I’m sure would be the gathering place for the community on festival days.
After a scootle around the church I decide to head for one of the rocky coves for a swim. I find myself on the main road again and another lady dressed in black with a wide brimmed straw hat (which seems to be ‘de rigueur’ for the older ladies on Fourni) sees me trying to look for the right direction. She asks me “Paralia?” and beckons for me to follow her. Once we reach a chicken coop she stops to feed the chickens whilst indicating for me to continue along the path.
The beach is pebble and sand and a nice place to spend an hour or so – gorgeous crystal clear waters and the water is relatively warm as in a sheltered bay. I’m happy in complete solitude whilst I do a bit of beachcombing collecting heart shaped pebbles for my temporary ‘art installation!’
I head to the cantina for a sandwich. It seems that they only serve the basics during the day but their full menu comes into operation during the evening consisting of all thing sea related.
The ferry arrive at 15.25 to make its final journey across the bay to Fourni. First it offloads a number of large packages that had arrived on the Blue Star Paros earlier. I daresay on some islands this would be a job for donkeys but on Thymena, it’s humans carrying the heavy loads up the steep steps.
Myself, the refuse collector and a couple of workmen board to go back.
I must admit I wondered how I would manage to kill seven hours in such a small place but with my trusty camera and bundle of curiosity it was a lovely day!