Our destination today was Marathi, a very small island off Arki, itself a very small island, that is now part of a wildlife refuge. Several moorings are placed in the bay at Marathi rather than have yachts use their anchors and potentially damage the fragile sea bed. As you enter the bay lined with a brilliant crescent of sand you see a couple of tavernas, a small hotel, a few houses, and a lovely blue-domed small church on a low ridge. When we came two years ago there were electricity poles but no electricity. By now the electricity had finally been connected, but that was about it for mod cons.
|The Church Of St. Nicolaos On Marathi|
|One Of The Local Residents|
The one taverna open at this time of year is run by Michalis who has been there forever and looks very much like an extra from Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean with the bandana and cut off trousers. The menu features several varieties of goat and chicken or whatever fish was caught that day accompanied by ouzo or wine. Then the trick is to get back in the dinghy and return to the boat aided by the pale light of a waning moon without falling in.
Marathi is a wonderful destination for anyone seeking absolute peace and quiet away from the pretentious glitz and head splitting thump thump of high decibel techno music that infects so many places on the Aegean coast of Turkey or some of the better known Greek islands. Small ferries come to the island daily from Leros or Patmos and there is a very nice, small hotel with its own pier. The only problem is that once you spend even a few days there the re-entry into the ‘real’ world can seem a bit harsh.
|Pier Of The Hotel On Marathi|
Patmos is known primarily for the 11th century Monastery of St. John the Divine and the cave where, according to legend, the Book of Revelations was written. The reality, or lack thereof, of this claim doesn’t seem to matter much to the thousands of tourists that descend from the enormous cruise ships to visit the cave, the monastery and the Monastery Treasury. No one seems to have told them that there are many, many steps involved in this trek. By the time these visitors have panted their way up to the monastery many of them look like they would much rather sit under a tree with a cold beer and rely on a postcard to prove that they had been there. For those that don’t mind the exercise, the Treasury is well worth a visit, as is the small whitewashed town of Chora perched on the hillside just outside the monastery. The effort of getting up the hill and wandering around the monastery can be rewarded with a good meal at Jimmy’s Balcony where you get a spectacular view of Patmos as well as Samos, Fourni, and Iraklia in the distance as you go through some of Jimmy’s delicious small dishes, meze.
|Monastery On Patmos With The Town Of Chora|