Thursday, 24 September 2015

Day nine - the Kastro and Kastro beach, 24th September.

Awoke to a VERY hot day - the beach was calling. We'd heard that the Kastro, and Kastro beach were really good. A bit out of the way, but that didn't bother us. 
After assesing the rain damage to the road, we parked the car and started to walk down the dirt road. You can see the sort of damage. You really need a 4x4 here.

But - to our astonishment, within only about 200 yards, the road turned into this!!!!

It was like this all the way to the car park above the beach. But, as we'd already set off, we continued.
Another of those little chapels was halfway down, so we went in (if only to get some brief shade from the sun).

Again, far more ostentatious than you would expect.

The road steepened downwards, and the views started to open up.
Ahead was 'The Kastro', where we were going to visit before going down to the beach. The Kastro has a LOT of history. The people of Skiathos town upped sticks and moved here en masse to avoid plundering pirates.
You can read all about it HERE and HERE

Near to the car park, and just before the path splits to the Kastro and the beach, we came across this bizarre building. There was no-one manning it, but this guy was playing DARTS!! Apparently, his girlfriend worked in the beach cafe, and he was just killing time until she finished.
Click on this picture to read the wooden sign in the roof.
Clear blue skies, and white stone -  a recipe for HEAT!
The path is well-walked but the brush was very sharp to the legs.
Looking over to mainland Greece.
The promontory was protected by walls, and access was only via a drawbridge (now disused). We started to see the remains of some of the ruined buildings, but some had been restored, along with one or two chapels.

Information on the drawbridge. (Click on the picture to read).
Remains of the drawbridge.

The very well protected entrance gate.
 Canon to repel would-be invaders.

Info' plaque.
It was now getting uncomfortably hot to be clambering about on rocks. The sea beckoned, but we knew we had to do all our exploring now, as it might be the last time we come here. We went around, looking in the restored places and enjoying the history of the place.

How the houses would have looked inside.
 Serious set of keys!

What, what??? Never seen a canon in a kitchen before!

A boat came into the beach. 
I REALLY hope he's not got a sound system playing :-(

This was the end of the Kastro. When we got to the beach, I donned my fins, and swam between those rocks.

We went to the very top of the Kastro, marked by a flag, and took the touristy pictures.

All over the place, remains of the houses could be seen. When you think around 3,000 people lived here, it must have been 'cosy'.

Inside another chapel.
There was an old Greek guy in here, a really nice bloke. He was very willing to talk - he even offered us a drink of Ouzo - and he told us his name was William. I remarked this was a strange name for a Greek guy, then he told us how his family were related to Kaiser Bill (Wilhelm). Fascinating stuff!

The clouds today weren't at all threatening.
Just beautiful.

So, sweating, we left the Kastro and dropped to the beach.

 A couple of small boats were in, but not noise or bustle. I think it took about ten minutes before we were in the water.
 Another beach shack/taverna.
Time to get beach-ready!

The beach was fine shingle, but very pleasant.
These rocks made for good snorkeling in among the crevices.
Little boats bobbing made it all very photogenic. There were several sun beds on the beach, all in poor repair, BUT they were free! We dragged two over to our spot.

Sue was in first, and I got the call; 'come on in - the water's lovely'.

How could I resist (as if I WANTED to).
We spent a lot of time in and out of the crystal clear and warm water.

We found this little chap sunning too.

But soon, lunch called (and cold beer).

We drank their beer and relaxed, taking in the view and conversation going on around us.

We weren't ready to eat, so I asked what time they closed. She said about five, but she would give us a shout. She said she had some fresh local fish, which we'd seen going out of the kitchen to other guests.
A strange decoration on the counter - three canon balls!

So, we went back to the beach for more sunning and snorkeling to work up an appetite.
This is the tiny kitchen, from which wonders come!

And this was the fare - still wriggling about.

Fried local fish, cold beer, Greek salad (just LOOK at the size of that slab of Feta on top), and we had to say, some of the BEST chips we've ever tasted!!

Two very happy customers.

I often wondered how they get supplies down to such places as this.
The answer is simple - donkey work!

Reluctantly, the time came that we had to leave :-(
Sue crossed the rickety bridge (no trolls underneath) and we set off in the dying sun, back to the car. It's a good job it was relenting, as the climb back up was very steep.

The reason we had to leave early(ish) was tonight was the re-scheduled trip to the cinema to see Mamma Mia. So, after a shower and change of clothes, we set off on the water taxi to Skiathos town.