Syros to Kea Day 7

A week in July Sailing the Greek Islands – Mary’s version con’t. 2

We got ready to set sail for Kea, packed up our loose items, did the dishes and hauled up the anchor. Today was really the first day where the winds looked good enough to sail. It was a beautiful day, sunny and very breezy! We were off the hook by 10:30 AM with south winds at 20 knots that lasted for one hour. The wind dropped and we motored for a while and ate while we motored. Demitri from Kythnos had caught a calamari and cleaned it for us. The girls all threw out ideas as to how to prepare it then Tracy and Valerie marinated it in lemon juice, wine, olive oil, garlic, onions and fresh herbs just to name a few things. The calamari had been marinating since yesterday so we were certain that it was ready. The lemon juice had “cooked” the calamari and it was served up with a couscous salad, fresh bread and cheese, tzatziki (made from cucumber and yogurt) and of course, olives from Demitri’s olive trees. It was a feast fit for a king!

After cleaning up, the wind kicked in again but this time from a northerly direction at about 22 knots. So we turned off the motor and hauled out the jib. Mark and Bill both took turns at the helm while John and Tracy worked the jib and trimmed the main under Valerie’s direction. It was a great sail! This was our reason for being on Maya… thank you Poseidon!

The islands of Kythnos, Syros and Kea are part of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. Kythnos and Kea in particular are very small islands and are not the type of islands that the cruise ships or tour boats frequent. Kea, has a population of around 3,000 and it’s capital is Loulis which is situated inland at a high altitude (due to fear of pirates in the early days) and we decide to take a cab there to see the Lion of Kea.

The town is beautiful, dotted with white buildings and red tiled roofs, gardens and archways with grape vines, and flowers everywhere. It is simply breathtaking, when you see the architecture, flora and the view of the Aegean Sea in one panoramic glance. I believe this is my favorite island after Hydra. Once again, we have timed it perfectly for siesta time and all of the shops are closed. But we are really here to hike up the mountain to see the Lion. So we hike.

We finally arrived at the site of the Lion of Kea! Wow! He is the oldest stone sculpture on the island and it had been dated at 600 BC. No one knows who sculpted it or why he is here but he is beautiful and the mystery about him captivates all of us. We can’t get enough of him and actually overdo the tourist thing with the number of pictures we take of the lion.

We returned to the boat, showered up, played catch up with Valerie and John and then headed out to the restaurant, which was practically at the end of the passarella. The restaurant is “Aristos Greek Taverna”. The waiter was very sweet when I asked if he could get permission for me to watch the chef make saganaki. He consented and I followed him, camera in hand. The cooks were all laughing because they couldn’t believe that anyone would want to watch them cook. I took pictures and they explained, get your oil hot; cut a slab of Gruyere cheese and coat with flour, then cook. Wow! Whodda thunk it! No more than that! You don’t even turn it over! You just put it on the plate with lemon wedges. They cooked it in about two minutes! No wonder they were laughing! But it was yummy!!!!

We planned to head out early in the morning since we were going back to Athens. Debbie and I had not yet visited the Acropolis and we wanted to try and fit that in on Friday. The rest of the crew all agreed that it would be a sin to be in Greece and not see it, so they graciously agreed to set sail early so we could fit the visit into our schedule. We headed back to the boat, and once again, we enjoyed another great night in Greece. Good food, good friends, good fun. Good night!