Showing posts with label Folegandros. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Folegandros. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Baptism

Baptisms are second only to weddings around here - very important and very special and for that reason the entire town turned out for the baptism. Anna told us we were invited, we all went. We joined the townsfolk in the climb up the hillside walk to the cathedral and attended the ceremony in the cavernous Greek Orthodox Church.

Angels among us

As I left the previous post I was considering ditching myself or the bags at the side of the road on our hike up the hill and into town. . .after all Joel had pointed out, it was only 3.3 kilometers up the hill and we walk that much all the time. . .

A car passed us, slowed and came to a stop and the man from Spain hopped out of the passenger side telling us to pile the bags (and me) into the car - a lady from town had agreed to give them a ride and since bags and people didn't all fit, the bags got shipped as well as me. Joel and Rob would follow.

The lady, Anne (Anna) I've decided is one of those angels among us that seem to suddenly appear when you need them and then do incredible acts of kindness. She deposited three of us and our bags at the appointed spot but when we asked for a hotel recommendation she winkled her brow, had an animated chat with two ladies sitting on a balcony above and said, "I am sorry there are no accommodations." A bit of a problem as the next ferry was the next day.

Finally after much conversation with the ladies Anna said, "I have a hotel. It is closed but I will open it for you." She took the three of us into her car again (and the two ladies watched the bags) to show us her hotel. It is absolutely spectacular with views of the town and see and surrounding hillsides.

The reason the few rooms still open were not available was because a baptism was being held Saturday night and guests from all over had taken anything that might have been available. So the five of us have become Anna's guests and had the hotel to ourselves. Today she insists that she take us to the ferry, she wouldn't hear of us riding the bus.
The hotel is Ampelos Resort ( and is owned by her brother who lives in Santa Rita CA and owns Ampelos Cellars, a winery in Santa Barbara CA.

As a side note, the article I had clipped didn't fully describe this magical place. We all have vowed to return again and hopefully in the not too distant future. Photos are of our hotel and looking down from the town (I wasn't joking - it is high in the hills).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

No reservation? No sweat. . .

Actually our trip to Folegandros has proven that statement incorrect. . .we did sweat a lot, quite literally, on this segment of the trip. Folegandros, as I wrote before, is a Greek island we booked ourselves to pretty much on the basis of an article I had clipped from the Seattle Times and an outdated guidebook entry we read in Santorini. Folegandros is on the cusp of tourism with delightful small resorts, rooms to let and a selection of restaurants found in the maze of the Kastro, a maze of small alleyways past plazas, homes and businesses in what was once a Venetian village. We had been warned in Santorini that we might find limited accommodations here this late in the season.

We were among a dozen or so who got off the ferry at the port - most went to waiting cars. But five of us went in search of the bus - the one we all had read met each ferry. After 20 minutes the realization was clear that the bus that would take us up the 3.3. kilometer stretch to the town wasn't coming. Our band of five had made introductions while waiting and we consisted of a couple from Spain, a man from Australia and the Smiths.

At the news finally that the bus wouldn't arrive for nearly two hours and with rain clouds threatening, three of us decided to walk, make that hike, to the town. That is where the sweat comes in. Under cloudy skies, in muggy conditions we began the trek, looking much like donkeys as we pulled our suitcases like carts and laden with those ' lightweight' Bagallini bags, I've been bragging about throughout the trip. After 30 minutes I was trying to remember what the symptoms of heart attack or stroke areas my heart pounded and the sweat dripped. (sometimes being a traveler isn't pretty).

This photo is of Joel and our now new friend Rob from Australia. . .as we set off for town.


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