Travel broadens the mind and also gives you perspective on life. Stepping out of your life periodically helps you see the world through fresh eyes and is certainly good for the soul!
I am not a writer but I believe that everybody can write, especially if there is something you are passionate about. My 'writing' may not be particularly poetic but I enjoy the reflective process and I believe that any creative pursuit should be encouraged. My blogs are more like a photograph albums with words.
My most recent passion is Egypt. My husband Peter is Egyptian and I have been truly privileged to have seen Egypt in ways that most tourists may not get the opportunity to. I will never tire of visiting Egypt. Every trip reveals something new and amazing. The blog 1001 Nights has also been the catalyst for the book we are writing about the village of Garagos - the place where Peter's ancestors have lived for generations.
My first passion is for Greece. I have been visiting Greece and the Islands for over 20 years and never tire of discovering new places - sometimes revisiting the very special places. I've decided to try and document my trips to the Greek islands in the blog - a Greek Oddity. This is a mammoth task that will involve routing out hundreds if not thousands of photographs from the loft followed by sifting and scanning - oh to have had a digital camera then! I guess I've visited around 50 islands now and I'm really excited about revisiting them through the blog. I do this mainly for posterity and also hope that one day it may be of interest to my children and grandchildren.
Today we're leaving Folegandros for Milos however, the high speed cat doesn't leave until 19.10pm so we have a fully day on the island and today we're going to Ano Meria. We've already packed as we need to vacate the room by 12.00pm. One last peek from the balcony before we go.
Evgenia has allocated a space near the reception office for our bags.
The bus leaves chora at 10.00am for Ano Meria. The journey offers the most spectacular views over the island and as described before, the road runs like a spine along the length of the island and from here you can see the bays down on the east and west side of the island at once. You can really appreciated the rugged beauty of the island from here.
There is no village centre as such at Ano Meria. The village is nothing more than a scattering of stone houses and farmsteads typically Cycladic in style - it has been described as looking as though the houses were thrown up into the air and scattered along the top of the hillside. We decide that the best way to see Ano Meria is to get off at the terminus and walk back along the main road, back towards chora.
We pass a little taverna with blue painted shutters. The menu outside lists chicken, rabbit, pigeon and meatballs - All Local! There is also matsada - a local handmade pasta dish.
Dry stones walls made with the green island slate line the road and also define property boundaries around stone houses.
Further down the road we pass a couple of donkeys laden with hay. They seem to know instinctively where they are going. As we approach the bend we see a man wrestling with another donkey who clearly has his own idea of where he wants to go!
We're starving by now as we haven't had breakfast. Luckily we see a sign for a bakery pointing up towards a low hill. We find the bakery to the right and enter the quaint looking shop where time seems to have stood still. We purchase a cheese pie and a spinach pie. Yum!
The breeze is fantastic up here and masks the full heat of the day. In fact it is more than a breeze - it is a wonderfully exhilarating wind which you can hear, see and feel - the famous Meltemi!
Next we pass a whitewashed, blue domed church which is calling us in.
A little further down the road we come across another small taverna complete with octopus hanging on a line. The blackboard menu outside is written in Greek but I do make out the word calamari - this must be the place to come for seafood in Ano Meria.
There are some fascinating things to see on this road - two rudderless windmills, intricate dry stone walls made from the local green slate, large stone circles which look like seating areas but I can't determine what their real function is - Google has been of no use to me with this.
We approach a whitewashed cuboid house on the left - our attention is first drawn to the collection of objects on the roof including a number of chimney like terracotta jars with with blue stripes painted around their width, small wooden box shaped constructions, a shower head, gas containers set into the roof in concrete and a line of string with plastic bottles hanging from it. An elderly gentleman sits by the doorway in the shade and raises his hand and smiles at us.
Along the front wall of the house there are rows of Greek words and along the next wall, childlike pictures of two people and a boat in drawn in blue paint. At first I thought this may have been the folk museum I'd read about but we later see a sign for this further down the road. I'd love to know more about this house and why it has been decorated this way - and again Google has been of no use whatsoever.
Some of the most spectacular views of Folegandros!
The bus passes us on its way to Ano Meria and we give the driver a wave to let him know that we want to catch the bus on the way back - he nods his acknowledgement.
What an amazing day this has been and what a fantastic way to spend our last day on the island!
Back in the chora we have another walk around the streets and then decide to have a meal at Pounta. This little taverna is situated just before the first square, adjacent to the bus stop and the town hall. We had walked past it every day and I was intrigued by the notice outside inviting visitors to come and eat or drink in their garden.
The taverna itself appears to be a small building but once you walk into the garden it has a large covered terrace and the most beautiful space abundant with flowers.
We order our meal - I have stuffed tomatoes and Peter has rabbit. We notice the unusual pottery that has been brought to our table with the meal. The owner of the taverna tells us that his wife Lisbet is an artist and she makes the pottery and they also have it for sale inside the taverna.
It's now time to collect our bags from Evgenia and wait for her son to pick us up and take us to the port. Evgenia tells us that the high speed cat is running a little late but her son will be with us in about 20 minutes. I'm looking forward to visiting Milos but so sad to be leaving Folegandros. I will definitely be back here one day - I think it will be quite soon!
Here is a bit of Folegandros mythology whilst we wait!
Folegandros has approximately 700 inhabitants and is only 12 square miles in size but I still feel that there is so much more of the island to be discovered. It is a great island for walking which enables you to appreciate its exceptional beauty. I was interested to read about Chrysospylia Cave that sits 30 metres above sea level below the chora. It isn't possible to visit the cave at the moment as archaeological work is still being undertaken but here is a bit more information about it.