Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cruise Port Review: Patmos, Greece

Here is the Patmos section of the Ports of Call document I prepared for ourselves and our fellow travelers:

Patmos, Greece, the Jerusalem of the Aegean (9 AM to 6 PM)

Patmos, a small island of the Dodecanese, is a popular destination due to its religious significance. Patmos is the place where Saint John wrote his Apocalypse. The world-heritage listed monastery of Saint John and the holy cave of the Apocalypse are open to the public. Patmos is also an ideal destination for those that love unspoiled sandy white beaches.

It is easy to visit the monastery by taxi. Built high on a hill, a visit affords beautiful vistas of the island and surrounding sea. For those who are more beach inclined, Meloi beach is a short taxi ride from the pier. I will be heading to the beach and all who want are welcome to join me.

The reality? While most of the ladies opted for the beach, it didn't work out that way. We could not find a taxi driver who would take us to the beach and pick us up in a few hours. (Later we figured out why.)

So with that news, most of the ladies headed off to shop. My husband and our very good friend Stu opted for a taxi to the Grotto and Monastery to take pictures. Cost: 35 Euros

That left me and Marla, our cruise friend from Carson City, NV, to try and make our way to Meloi beach. We never made it. It would have meant walking on the roadway up and over a BIG hill. Instead we walked along the shoreline and found a sign pointing to the local acropolis. We started to climb, first past houses and then on a rocky path. We came to the old ruins and a beautiful view of the ship in the harbor.

In a way we did make it to the beach. There is some beachfront right near town, heading off to the right after leaving the tender dock. We spread our towels under a tree, and enjoyed just relaxing and watching the water. And where we were soon found by my husband and Stu.

So why couldn't we get a taxi to the beach? The drivers have their tour routes down to a science. They take pax to the Grotto, drop them off for 1/2 hour, pick them up, drop them off at the Monastery for an hour, etc. etc. In between they are running additional pax to these spots. It would really mess things up if they had to go in the other direction to the beach. Oh well. Live and learn.

The shopping/restaurant part of town is very close to the tender landing. The ship warned pax that some people had become ill after eating and drinking in Patmos. That didn't stop Marla and me from heading into a bakery to try a few things Patmos is known for: cheese pie (like a soufflé) and poughi (wallet) which is dough wrapped around nuts, spices, honey, etc. And, of course, baklava. I liked the cheese pie and loved the baklava. Didn't care for the poughi but Marla loved it.

We also did some shopping. Pretty much the same stuff we saw in Athens but a chance to pick up something we might have missed. And we were back on board in time to grab something to eat at the buffet.

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