Posts tagged: Ferry

Day Trip to Kavala

By , 10/08/2014 01:04
Kavala - Καβάλα

Kavala – Καβάλα

It’s already after midnight here in Greece, so, on that basis…

Yesterday (Saturday), Mum, Corrie and I did a day trip to the city of Kavala / Καβάλα, on the mainland. After Thessaloniki, Kavala is the second largest city in the Makedonia region.

Although this is our fourth time on Thassos, we have never visited Kavala – and as we’ve always flown in to Kavala Airport (apart from this year), we felt we should pay the city a visit.

Ferries between Kavala and Thassos are not as regular as the ones between Keramoti and Thassos, but they are more regular at this time of year making a day trip possible. They leave from Skala Prinou / Σκάλα Πρίνου, and take approx. 1hr 15mins.

Arriving in Kavala by Sea gives you some great views of the city: of the castle and the old town up at the top, of the beaches in the city, of the new town along the sea front.

Summer Bazaar of Kavala - Καλοκαιρινό Παζάρι Καβάλας

Summer Bazaar of Kavala – Καλοκαιρινό Παζάρι Καβάλας

On leaving the passenger terminal at the port, we walked along the sea front to the Summer Bazaar – the market – which consisted mainly of clothes, shoes, socks, and other small items.

The most interesting part was the fruit and veg section, with local produce including potatoes, eggs, nectarines, peaches etc. Prices vary according to who you buy from, so shop around.

We slowly walked arount the market, before making our way back to the sea front and then wandering up to the castle up above the port, in the old town. Entry to the castle is not more than a couple of Euros per person, and there’s a café there serving a range of drinks and snacks: Ttheir milkshakes are particularly nice.

From the castle you get wonderful views over the port and over the rest of the city of Kavala – and that means plenty of photo opportunities.

Walking our way back down towards the port, we passed a tourist shop in the narrow streets of the old town from where I was able to buy some Kavala postcards. I like collecting Greek postcards when I come away to Greece, and as I’ve been all over the country this year the pile of postcards I have has grown in recent weeks. They will all be going in to a photo album when I get back to the UK.

As well as postcards we got some very nice paintings from the tourist shop; the shopkeeper paints them herself – there are paintings of Kavala, of Thessaloniki, and of other areas in Greece too: We left with quite a few, as the prices were very reasonable.

Skala Prinou - Σκάλα Πρίνου

Skala Prinou – Σκάλα Πρίνου

We took the 16:15 ferry back to Thasssos, and, hot after a day walking around the city, fell straight in to the sea. It felt a bit bizarre swimming right next to the ferry we’d been on a few minutes before. I can’t imagine doing the same at Dover, Southampton or Portsmouth!

Today (Sunday) is our last full day on Thassos. We leave to return to Thessaloniki tomorrow Monday and fly back to the UK on Tuesday. It will be strange to go back home after 6 weeks away!

It’s now after 1am. I’m off to bed.

Good night / Καληνύχτα.

FH.

Back to Thassos

By , 31/07/2014 08:19

Leaving Keramoti

It is 8 years since we last managed to get here; but I am pleased to say that as I write this morning I am sitting on the balcony in exactly the same apartment we had during our first stay in this particular hotel/our second stay on Thassos. Thassos (Θάσος) is the most Northerly of all the Greek islands, and it lies just under 230km from Thessaloniki.

I met Mum, Dad and Corrie in the arrivals hall at Thessaloniki Airport, and once our car rental was sorted the journey from Thessaloniki to Thassos was really quite simple: Take the Thessaloniki Ring Road until the Egnatia Odos (Εγνατία Οδός), then follow that motorway until you get to the sign labelled KERAMOTI – THASSOS – ΚΕΡΑΜΩΤΗ – ΘΑΣΟΣ. There are 2 toll booths along the route: It’s €2,40 each time for a car.

From the motorway junction, the road goes down to Kavala Airport and on to the ferry at Keramoti – it’s about 10 miles. The crossing to Thassos takes about 45 minutes, with ferries leaving almost constantly throughout the day. It’s €3 per person and €16 for a car. They’re drive on-drive off ferries: you don’t need to reverse on as you do for some ferries. From Thassos Town it was just a case of taking the coastal road down to Potos (Ποτός); a journey which took us about 45 minutes.

It is brilliant that even after 8 years, the hotel staff still reconise us. Potos has changed slightly since the last time we were here: the number of English tourists has dropped dramatically, and in their place lots of tourists from Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Serbia. No one bring UKIP here! The result is that a lot of the tavernas/restaurants don’t have their signs in English now – they use Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish or Serbian.

In a way, I am almost disappointed that I’m in a touristy area – everywhere else I’ve been, I’ve effectively manage to avoid tourists completely: I’ve managed to find places catering for Greeks and Greek tourists. The village seems very small (much smaller than I remember): but I think that’s just because I’ve been used to life in Athens and Thessaloniki.

I’m off to the bakery to go and get some breakfast, then I think I need a swim, as I haven’t had a swim since I was on Syros a week ago.

Bye for now,

FH.

From Syros to Athens: Final Night in Athens

By , 24/07/2014 21:42

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Arriving back in Athens following the four hour ferry journey from Syros felt a bit like arriving at Gatwick after a flight. It was that “I’m home from holiday” feeling.

My time from Syros was, if you like, a “holiday within a holiday”; it did make me feel rather Greek to jump on a ferry and go to an island for a two day visit, then jump back on the ferry and return to the mainland.

After checking out of my room this morning, I headed to Galissas Beach for a final swim; spent so long in the water my hands aged by about 50 years… but then, my hands only need 5 minutes in water before they start to go wrinkly.

Later, I popped to the office where Yannis of Galissas Studios works; that was where we stayed last year, and Mum has already suggested that we may go back independently in the future – so I called in to get his contact details so we can look at it properly.

The time then came for me to pay my bill, say goodbye to Antonis, and get the bus in to Ermoupoli.

From Ermoupoli, I took the 16:00 ferry (on the Blue Star Naxos / Μπλου Σταρ Νάξος boat) back to Piraeus – I stood at the back of the boat for about 50 minutes as we sailed along the coast of Syros, before turning and then seeing the island Syros fade away in to the distance.

The journey back was rather pleasant – as I found a spare seat on the sundeck, and sat there as we sailed past island after island… and whenever we were close enough to land to get a 3G mobile signal, I’d quickly boot up my laptop and do my e-mails. The on-board wifi was a bit too expensive for me.

Arriving back in Piraeus, we had some excellent views of the city as we approached – I could clearly see the Acropolis and Lykavittos Hill. As a sign that my Greek is definitely coming along nicely during this trip, I was able to understand every word of the stream of tannoy announcements as we docked in Piraeus, and didn’t need to listen when they were translated in to English afterwards.

On arrival in Piraeus I headed for the Metro station, got a 24 hour travel pass, and went back to my hotel in Metaxourgeio; changing trains at Omonoia, the journey took about 40 minutes.

Tonight really is my final night in Athens: and it occurred to me that after 24 days in Greece, I was back in the hotel where it all started – in the room next door to the one I had during the first week.

Leaving Syros

By , 24/07/2014 16:51

After two excellent days on Syros, the time has come for me to get on the ferry and return to Athens. It took about an hour before Syros disappeared completely from view; plenty of time for photos as the island faded in to the distance.

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Above: View of Ermoupoli from the ferry.

Below: And we’re off! Next stop Piraeus.

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Below: I used my very best Greek to ask someone to take a photo of me…. «Μπορείτε να κάνετε φωτογραφία μου; Να στέλνω στη Μαμά μου στην Αγγλία».

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Above and Below: The Northern tip of Syros, starting to fade in to the distance.

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Above: Syros continuing to fade in to the distance – look, I can see Kini (below the clouds).

Below: Almost gone…

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Ermoupoli

By , 22/07/2014 19:27

Ermoupoli (Ερμούπολη) is the capital of Syros Island, the capital of the Cyclades, and the capital of the South Aegean region.

A Greek lady there wanted me to take a photo of her – and she was more than happy to do the same for me.

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The Nissos Mykonos ferry which I arrived on a few hours ago.

First Glimpse of Syros

By , 22/07/2014 11:20

The Northern tip of the island of Syros.

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Piraeus Port

By , 22/07/2014 08:14

Sitting on the ferry, looking over the port of Piraeus (Πειραιάς), shortly before departing for Syros.

Piraeus

Piraeus

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Piraeus

By , 04/07/2014 11:17

Short trip to Piraeus to collect my ferry ticket for Syros.

Piraeus

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