Posted by: travelrat | July 15, 2021

Three Faces of Patmos

At Grykos, on the Greek island of Patmos, we shared the jetty with the Old Fisherman. The crew of our boat said that he was almost always there, patiently sitting in his little red boat, mending his nets. When he was out fishing, you know he’ll be back, when you see his three friends waiting for him.

Two cats and a seagull would sit on the nets waiting for him, for he always had a fish for them, no matter how meagre his catch. It’s a sharp contrast to the island’s main port of Skala, where the ferries and cruise-ships call, and where the tourists usually hang out.

But, there are still as many fishing boats as pleasure boats in Skala’s harbour, so the tourist impact isn’t too great. However, that small amount is slowly starting to creep down to Grykos, where one hotel has already been partly built, condemned and abandoned. And, we were awakened early in the morning by construction equipment, working on a new road around the headland.

Patmos’ third face attracts pilgrims as well as tourists, for here, St. John wrote the Book of Revelation. You can see the cave where the saint is said to have written this work and, high on top of the hill, surrounded by the charming old white-painted town of Hora stands the Monastery of St. John. It’s marvellously photogenic, even if you aren’t interested in matters religious.

However, you do need to get up here early, before the bulk of the tourists arrive. And, don’t wear shorts if you’re going to visit the monastery; those sarong things that they hand out to cover your legs if you do look damn’ ridiculous on some people! Another reason for arriving early is that there’s not too much of a crush in Jimmy’s Balcony Restaurant, noted for its superb views if the harbour … we were lucky enough to be able to watch the arrival of one of Star Clippers’ sailing cruisers.

It’s also noted for its excellent omelettes, which are almost worth hiking up the hill for!


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