Saturday, December 1, 2012

Venetian Castle of Limnos, "Castro"

It was another excruciatingly hot day in Limnos, and Tony and I were not in the best of moods, having just been kicked off the Anemos touring boat that morning.

I wish I could entertain you with a sordid story of us rolling around drunk at 8 o'clock in the morning and causing all sorts of havoc on the boat with behaviour that was simply not tolerated by the lovely owners of Anemos, Litsa and George. But I'm sorry to say that (on this day) no such debauchery was to be had.

It was just a double-booking with a Greek wedding party, and we, along with another 15 tourists, came off second best. These things happen in Greece. There's no need for the tourists to contribute to making chaos. The Greeks make their own chaos. But we love it.

Or should I rephrase – in hindsight we love it. At that moment of being told we all had to get off the boat, we didn't love it.

And we still didn't love it when we were sweltering with heat exhaustion dragging our feet up the rocky path to the spectacular site of Limnos' Venetian fortress, Castro. It was so hot I was creating mud in my sandals with the combination of sweat and dirt. It was so hot you could have fried eggs on Tony's head. It was so hot we had no hope whatsoever of climbing to the top of the Castro.



The photos here are not the most spectacular. On previous trips to Limnos the weather was more forgiving and there were no double-booked wedding parties to get us off side. In the past we have made it to the pinnacle of Castro several times where the views over Myrina are beautiful and far-reaching. You can read about our previous climbs and a bit about the history of Castro by clicking here and here.

You can also see a wobbly but fairly representative video I filmed last year of the view from the top of Castro by clicking here.







On this brain-sizzling day we turned back at the half-way point, just before our heads exploded. Upon our descent, to our delight we came across a small herd of young deer. Around 30 or 40 deer occupy the Castro mountain. It is believed that a pair of them were brought over from Rhodes as a gift to Limnos to rid the island of snakes.




We quietly approached them as they grazed on piles of dry grass left for them by the locals under the shade of some trees. They weren't phased by our presence and thankfully all of our spontaneous human combustion symptoms had subsided as there would have been one mighty explosion with all that hay.

The walk down Castro is both relieving after a strenuous climb, and rewarding with many photo opportunities. A gorgeous little white-washed church nestled amongst the rocks and overlooking Romaikos Yiallos beach is one of our favourite spots to sit and catch our breath. You will also come across Nefeli Cafe on the way down the hill, serving ice cold frappes and biscotti with panoramic panels of glass offering sweeping views over Myrina.