We have been on Skyros now for several days in order to explore the island a bit and also avoid some very strong northerly winds. The little harbour here at Linaria is pretty full with other yachts doing the same and the car hire companies are doing a roaring trade. We hired one on Saturday and visited the main town which is a wonderful labyrinth of narrow, stone cobbled streets, winding around and upwards towards a commanding bluff, with the remains of yet another Venetian fort on the summit.
There is a good little archaeological museum in a lovely setting and we enjoyed seeing more finds from settlements on the island dating back 5000 years. The museum also had an example of a traditional Skyrian house interior with its distinctive carved wood screen and furniture, local ceramics and copperwork and several costumes. Whilst we had transport, we stocked up at the main supermarket as supplies are very limited in Linaria itself. In the afternoon we drove to the north of the island past very pretty coves and through pine forests heading to the ancient site of Palamari. We had a walk down wildflower-lined paths and past several farms to find the site on a low headland overlooking a beach. Unfortunately, we hadn’t done our homework on opening times and it was all closed up and well fenced, so we were very disappointed, although it was still good to see its location.
We returned to Skyros town later and had the same issue when we tried to reach the top of the rock and found the route (through a tunnel under a monastery!) was also only open in the morning. We should know by now that nothing happens in Greece between 2pm and 5 or even 6pm!! We did have another enjoyable wander up and down the streets of the town and an iced espresso in the square looking up towards our thwarted destination.
Yesterday we had a 2 hour walk up and down along the rocky coast. We saw one or two more abandoned, half-built villas but luckily this island is not so plagued with “villa pox” as it is more remote and inaccessible than some. The paths were lined with the lovely bright yellow thorny broom (very painful when brushed against), rock roses and pink oleander which are everywhere and colour whole slopes in the distance. Today first mate is watching her washing trying to take off as it dries in the gusty winds and later we will both try to get some more exercise – much needed after eating large taverna meals too often. We hope to move on north tomorrow, probably to Alonnisos.