May 29th -June 2nd
The day before we left Selchuk the swallows learned to fly and the nest was left empty. Time for us to leave Turkey -goodbye to storks, frogs, swallows and stray cats and dogs; all seem to find a kindly home in Selchuk. Also cheap, interesting food, excellent public transport, good beaches and impressive ancient sites -no wonder Turkey is the favourite Med destination. Many of our own prejudices have faded, altho we took care not to hire bikes, and left most of the negotiating to Aydin.
Traffic between the Greek isands and Turkey is minimal despite their proximity. There is one small boat from Kusadasi to Samos each day. It was Aydin's birthday, so she symbolically crossed the great divide by celebrating in both countries...and we supped on cool white whine, cake and strawberries on the boat. Samos was to be a final stopping place before returning home from Mykonos, but ferry timetables dictate otherwise and we have spent 4 days here and are now leaving for the island of Naxos. We stayed here at Pension Dreams, a place we know from last year's travels. This year we had the 'penthouse' with huge rooftop balcony and fabulous views over Vathi harbour. For a combination beach/walking holiday it Samos cannot be bettered. Its very green, mountainous and relatively unspoiled.
We spent a long morning on one of the 'no dress code' beaches. Lots of very brown, mainly elderly naked people stretched out like seals on the sunbeds; a young man (dressed) provided massage services. We planned a long walk for yesterday along the western coast...it nearly killed us. The scenery is stunning but the map failed to show just how steep the climb up was from the last beach to the village of Drachei (Dragon Village, aptly named). There could be no slacking as there was only one bus back to Vathi...and it only went on Mondays!
Ancient greek gateway to mediaeval town of Naxos
Mykonos sunset; pigeon house and church
We watched Aydin leave on the boat back to Kusadashi this morning, waving from our rooftop balcony. Our, much larger, boat leaves at lunchtime, for the island of Naxos. Naxos, another lovely island, which we enjoyed very much last year. Two days here, burnishing our sun tans, before our final hop to Mykonos, and a plane home on June 5th.
London looks grey, the weather is grey, and we've missed the EU elections by a couple of days. The news is also gloomy - Labour under seige with only 16% of the vote, and 2 BNP characters voted into the Euro parliament. And we find we've missed weeks of media scandalising over MP's expenses. Thank goodness!