It was Friday, the 19th of October 2012. Place: Chios City. Time: Morning. After visiting a famous local patisserie and drinking some cappuccino, I was ready to go on my solitary journey to the island of the Aegean Regatta 2012, the island of the petrified forests and the island of the renown artist Sappho: To Lesvos.
Already from the deck of the ferry, withstanding the turbulent waves of the Aegean Sea, I could see slight trace of the third-largest island of all Greece, and my destination for the next three days. I read that it also holds the name of “The Emerald island” due to the lush trees, consisting mainly of pines and olive groves. There are claimed to be also several historic towns, archaeological sites, medieval castles, monasteries, picturesque bays and wide sandy beaches. But I wanted to see it for myself!
Over the centuries, the island of Lesvos was under the influence of many cultures. Here reigned the Persians, the Athenians, the Spartans, the Romans, the Byzantines and even the Turks. On Lesvos, sparkling in the dazzling Aegean light, lyrical poetry was created. The songs performed to the accompaniment of the lyre were dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and Adonis, and formed for the world of poetry by Sappho. Here Aesop was born on, the author of fairy tales (poetic parable about animals having human qualities), and here my story would begin.
My first destination was the main bus station in Mitillini, from where the inclined traveler can go to all the different regions of the island. But I knew where I wanted to go on this very day: Taking the only that day I headed to the other end of the island – to the town of Molivos. After three hours I finally arrived there.
From what I experienced at this marvelous place, I can highly recommend anyone to go to Molivos, located on the hillside of Lesvos. On the top of the preserved fortress, I was able to oversee all of the surrounding area: The town with the pretty, narrow streets, the coffee-shops and bars with their hanging balconies, about 30 meters above the street, and in pubs around the harbor. When I walked these paths myself and just left the main streets of the town I suddenly felt like a strange mood overcoming me, a mood of relaxation and of Greek atmosphere. The reason for that were not only the friendly people I encountered on my explorations, but also the multitude of tiny shops, offering pretty much everything. From what I have learned that day, it seems to be the perfect place for anyone who wishes to escape the bustle of the big cities and resorts, and are rather looking for peace in the surrounding nature.
Worth to participate in is also a Greek evening in taverns located in the port, as they serve delicious, traditional Greek food. From these specialties, I recommend trying the roasted vegetables: Peppers, tomatoes and squashes filled with rice and meat stuffing. One thing more you should definitely not miss are the skewers with onions, tomatoes and peppers, as well as the famous “Moussaka”, casseroles with eggplants, potatoes and meat or meat pasta with bechamel sauce called “Pastitsio”.
But the fun for the did not end there! Greek people invite me to dance, even on the tables, chairs to the characteristic rhythms of the street, lively and full with breeze of antiquity. The locals were hospitable and cheerful as befits – the Greeks are rightly proud of the history of the island and their country. After such a busy evening, it was time for me to rest, as tomorrow was waiting for me with another place to discover …
Early in the morning I decided to come back to Mitillini to look at the traditional life of the Greeks. As I discovered the following day, the residents of Lesvos produce excellent Ouzo and great olive oil, fish fresh seafood every day and a make a delicious feta cheese from the goats milk. The local islanders were smiling and welcoming me happily. They live here according to the eternal laws of nature, cultivate olives, raising animals and catch fish. On this island one can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life without exposing oneself to the crowds, skyrocketing prices and souvenirs with imprint “Made in China”. Nightlife takes place in taverns, situated by the sea and small, intimate clubs.
When being in the islands capital I recommend to walk to the fortress, which was designed by Francesco Gattilucci. One can also go to the ruins of the ancient theater, which used to be one of the largest in Greece.
When looking over the island with the sun on my face and the breeze from the Aegean Sea cooling me, I realized that I really wished to be living here. It is an excellent location, beautiful and picturesque, with the Mediterranean town offering a breath taking view over the sea and its dreamy alleys, streets and marvelous colorful houses.
Full of positive energy and unforgettable experience, and after having a coffee and a Greek pita in the evening, I boarded the last ferry at 8 pm back to Chios Island, back to where I stared.
To see all the pictures go into our gallery!