NISOS NISIROS
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They were dredging the Palon harbour entrance due to silting from winter storms so we entered with caution. Dimitri, the harbour master, arrived on his motorcycle and took our lines to the pier speaking Swedish to us. He lived on Gotland Island in Sweden for 23 years but decided to move back to Nisiros.

Palon harbour

Palon harbour

Dimitris takes the lines

Dimitris takes the lines

We rented a car from Mike (Eagle’s Nest Car & Bike Rental), who lived in New York for many years but moved back to Nisiros, where he grew up with his American wife. He was very helpful in showing and explaining what we should see and gave us some history of the island.  When renting a car from Mike you also get written instructions where to drive.  As a special bonus you also get the code for his WIFI that is covering the harbour.

Mike gave us excellent service. Tour descriptions in your own language and free Internet.

Mike gave us excellent service. Tour descriptions in your own language and free Internet.

We drove to a fortification (the ancient city wall of Nisyros) dating to the 4th century BC. The wall is 2 to 3.65 meters thick, with faces built in coursed trapezoidal masonry of local volcanic black stone. It is on one of these impressive walls we stood and watched the sunset.

Vickie on the walls of the castle

Vickie on the walls of the castle

Sunset from the castle walls

Sunset from the castle walls

Next morning we drove to the volcanic crater. Nisiros’s volcano is the youngest active volcano in Greece. It is claimed that up to 60,000 years ago hundreds of small eruptions built a cone that rose 800 meters above sea level. Two mega eruptions 45,000 and 55,000 years ago destroyed the central part of the volcano, leaving the big central crater which is 4km in diameter. We hiked down to the largest hydrothermic crater in the world, called Stefanos with a diameter of 330 meters. There were steam vents and walking over to them you could hear the water boil beneath the surface and feel a vibration in your feet. Ok, that was enough for me and as I headed for the trail out, Roland was heard saying “coward”. We then hiked up to look down into one of the other three active hydrothermic craters, the latest of which was created in l887. Of course Roland chose his own path to get there and along the way we found the remains of a goat skull in the lava rock. I was busy watching for a snake.

The volcano area seen from Nikia

The volcano area seen from Nikia

Down in the crater it is still HOT.

Down in the crater it is still HOT.

To hot for some!

To hot for some!

Nikia is the highest village on the island. Upon arrival, lovely music was flowing from a nearby house, otherwise the village was quiet so it was nice to walk around and see the volcano from above.

Nikia on the edge of the crater

Nikia on the edge of the crater

We then went to a small church which stands high above Nikia and oh what a lovely setting. Mike, where we rented our car was instrumental in getting private donations from the US to build this lovely church.

Church on top of the mountain

Church on top of the mountain

A view from inside the church

A view from inside the church

Driving around the island, your eyes were constantly drawn to the thousands of terraces that were man made. High on mountain sides, valley walls, slight inclines sat these terraces built from rock. These were started at least during Turkish rule, continued with the Italian rule and then Greek rule, still constructing them as late as the l960s. This was done for two reasons; to stop the erosion when heavy rains fell and to have flat growing areas. So not only did they build the rock walls, they then brought in the top soil for planting. The terraces were once green and lush with growth. It was a mental challenge to look at all this and wonder how did they manage at such steep heights and the motivation for such laborious work.

Terraces and more terraces

Terraces and more terraces

Our last evening here, we are dining in a restaurant that was recommended to us by a French couple that we met on Leros in April. A very unexpected surprise when they walked into the restaurant. We had the opportunity to thank them for the recommendations for both the restaurant and the island.

Snooze

Snooze


Comments

NISOS NISIROS — 4 Comments

  1. I love your bloggs,makes me feel I`m back in Greece( and that was before Rassy) a long time ago.I am in no mans land at the moment,looking after my ageing mother at the same time as I search for a sea going coffin and there are plenty around.Don`t forget to water the terraces while you`re up there
    all the best John

  2. JOHN!!!! So nice to hear from you! It has been a longtime. I am happy that you are looking for another boat! Greece is a very nice cruising area. So much to see. Wishing you all the very best!
    Vickie

  3. Vickie, so enjoy all of your pictures and posts. How can you ever remember all of your travels? So interesting. Helen

  4. I feel envy! Here is freezing cold and windy! Already studying Helgoland to somewhere hahaha! Enjoy and keep fresh! Love from Colombia!

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