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We are going back to the south of Evia in Marmari for a few days

Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 18 to 22 June 2019

Tuesday 18 June, we are going back to the south of Evia in Marmari for a few days

We load the car on time and leave around 9 am. The boat leaves at 10 a.m. and so we can have a coffee in Gavrio. In the car we joke about everything we have forgotten, something we otherwise never actually do. But then we suddenly realize that we have left the internet dongle outside. Imagine if we had discovered that on the boat or afterwards! We drive back quickly and we are relieved to have thought about it in time. I can't live without internet anymore and with the dongle we are independent of the not always reliable wifi in the apartments.
When we enter the ferry we have to maneuver bewteen the cars, every centimeter is occupied and we have difficulty getting out of the car. We have no fixed places on this boat and there are many more outside decks. At half past twelve we arrive in the port of Rafina. We could of course take a boat to Marmari from here, then we will be there within an hour, but we have plenty of time to drive through the interior of Attica to the north to cross the bridge at Chalkida to Evia. We didn't feel like visiting another new island, but were so charmed by the south of Evia that we are going back there for a few more days.
View from our apartment in Marmari, Evia The ferry from Rafina to MarmariAround 5 o'clock we arrive at the hotel in Marmari and we have specifically indicated that we want a room with a sea view. The room is on the 3rd floor, the floors below overlook the courtyard. The price was a bit higher but we do indeed have a nice view of the bay, the island of Laberousa and the ferry route. This ferry is the fastest way to get to Evia from Athens. Evia is the second largest island of Greece, but there are mainly Greeks coming here on holiday and very few Dutch people.
Although, when we get out of the hotel, we bump into two Dutch people who just want to check in. But they have a cheaper room and are somewhere downstairs. According to some travel guides, Marmari is the most touristic village in the south of Evia, but just like last time we find it remarkably quiet and less fun than Karystos, which is much livelier. It also stinks of cat pee everywhere here thanks to the overflowing waste bins that are on the street and need to be collected sometime. That smell and the waste will also be the reason why we are surrounded by flies when we look for a terrace in the harbor area.
Back at the hotel my laptop seems to be dead, that's a shock. First we almost forgot our internet, now this. In the end it turns out to be a problem with the charger, pfff, it works again.

Wednesday 19 June 2019, a relaxed day

At night I wake up with a tickle in my bed: ants! Hundreds of ants are looking for some goodies and apparently they thought the route through the bed was a good one, I even have a few ants in my mouth. On the balcony we had already noticed that there are many ants, but we have stored away all the food properly so I don't know what they are doing here. It takes me half an hour to get the bed clean again.
After that we sleep well and have an ant-free brakfast. Then we drive to our usual bar in Karystos. The waiter immediately recognizes us and asks what it was like at Salamina, he remembered that. We can tell him that it is the least beautiful island that we have seen so far.
A clean beach with a view of the Ochi mountainsThen we go to the beach that we cleaned a few weeks ago. We have decided to report to the town hall when the garbage is still there but it is cleaned up, neat! But where we had the beach all to ourselves the last time, there is now an Austrian car. Fortunately the beach is large enough but we notice that it is getting a bit busier. Later in the afternoon there are even 4 more people. It is hot but cloudy and the water is a lot warmer than a few weeks ago.
All in all we have a wonderful, peaceful day.

Thursday 20 June 2019, mountain trip to Potami

Thousands of butterflies near the waterfall past Platanistos on EviaToday we are taking a car trip to Potami. The further we go into the mountains, the more butterflies we see, tens of thousands fluttering across the road. Also at the Potami waterfall just past Platanistos they are everywhere but it is only 1 species, they all look the same. While there are many species on Evia. It seems that the butterflies come out from mid-June and they seem to be approaching the water of the river. We have no idea how long they stay alive.
The waterfall at Platanistos on Evia At a natural well at Platanistos we can clean the carAt the Potami waterfall we also stop to wash the car with the water from a well, because it is really dirty, especially because of the many sandy and gravel roads we have driven on Andros. It is an idyllic place to sit and enjoy the peace and the environment. There is a path along which you can follow the river for a while.
The bay at Potami in the south of Evia The beach at Potami in the south of EviaIn the distance we see the Bay of Potami and the beach, but it is still 7 kilometers away, which according to the navigation will take almost 25 minutes. That says enough: roads that Teije loves so much but that I usually find less attractive. Steep slopes, many curves and narrow. And rarely crash barriers along the road. The Tomtom thinks occasionally to know some back roads, but these are poorly accessible sandy paths. The paved road stops at the beginning of the village that seems extinct. We made a recording with the dashcam of a part of the way back.

Road network in the south of Evia We are curious what this building isOn the way back we see a lot of activity from trucks that transport parts of wind turbines. At a certain moment a lorry dives off the paved road into a dirt road that goes down quite steeply. He must know the road well, but it looks pretty scary. Just like at Karystos a few weeks ago, we also see an area full of roads here. Here, however, they are sandy paths and seem more like the infrastructure for installing wind turbines. A number of large parks are being built in southern Evia.
Back in Karystos it is time for an afternoon break and Teije has a long conversation with the waiter about the working conditions here. He works 40 to 48 hours a week for € 500 per month. We don't think that is much, but he is satisfied with his work and clearly does it with pleasure.
We spend the afternoon on the beach because it is very hot. It would be overcast today but the sky is clear and the sun is burning. When we arrive we see a fox walking but unfortunately we do not have the camera at hand and when we stop it is already gone somewhere in the low bushes.
Today we check the beach for new plastic that has washed ashore since the last time we were here, but now it is so little that we take it ourselves to a container en route.
When we get back to the hotel we have new neighbors, two German ladies with whom we have a chat. One of them has been coming here for almost 30 years because she thinks Marmari is such a cozy place. We don't agree at all, it stinks everywhere on the street, the boulevard and the harbor area are not really attractive and the terraces neither. We feel more comfortable in Karystos.

Friday 21 June 2019, another relaxed day

We wake up cold this morning, the air conditioning was a bit too low, namely at 23 degrees. At home we don't like it when it is warmer than 18 degrees at night, but when we use the air conditioning in Greece, we set that mostly to 24 degrees.
Island off the southwest coast of EviaWe start with coffee in Karystos and then go to the beach. If a few more people show up in the afternoon, we leave to take another car ride. We are still trying to see a number of dragon houses, but the roads are narrow and poor and the last kilometers have not been paved. Eventually we have to descend almost a kilometer backwards on a small road, through the sharp curves and along the steep cliffs. Brr, I am so glad I don't drive.
In Nea Styra, een badplaats met een paar mooie zandstranden, pauzeren we. De terassen zijn nog leeg maar in het weekeinde komen veel Atheners naar Evia. Er zijn veel Grieken die een tweede huis hebben op een van de eilanden maar doordat enkele jaren geleden de onroerend goed belasting fors is verhoogd kunnen steeds meer mensen het niet meer betalen. Dat is een van de redenen dat er zoveel te koop staat. Een andere reden is dat er voor de crisis veel gebouwd werd in de hoop op meer toeristen maar die kwamen helaas niet.
Terug in Marmari maken we nog een wandeling door het dorp maar het spreekt ons echt niet aan en rijden dan toch maar weer naar Karystos om iets te eten.
Later in the evening our German neighbors say that it is a pity that Teije has to work all night. They think that because he is sitting behind the laptop, but in reality he is just watching internet TV. So, don't worry ladies, we also just have vacation.
At half past eight the peace of the village is finally disturbed. The weekend has started and we are now seeing a full boat from Rafina arriving for the first time. Hundreds of cars are slowly leaving the village, apparently not many people are planning to stay in Marmari. It takes almost 45 minutes for the last cars to pass by.

Saturday 22 June 2019, the archaeological site Eretria

Because we expect a lot of crowds, we go to the beach on time but there are only 2 other people. And a few more arrive around noon, but then we are ready to leave. In the last few days we have been able to find only a couple of bags with plastic waste so our first cleaning operation of 3 weeks ago was a success. In the coming years we will sometimes check how clean the beach stays.
In Karystos we go to our usual restaurant for the last time and say goodbye to the waiter and the waitresses. Who knows, maybe until next year.
In the garden of the Eretria museum The extensive excavation site of EretriaThen we drive to Eretria where we want to see the excavation but we are already a bit late and it is more than an hour and a half drive and we have forgotten that museums often close at 4 o'clock. And we are there at 5 before 4, so it makes little sense to go inside, but we can still see the museum garden. And the large excavation site is also accessible. Eretria was an important Greek polis (city) in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. In 490 BC. the city was destroyed by the Persians but then rebuilt. The Romans destoyed it in 198 BC. but the final remains of the city were destroyed in 87 BC.
Sorted stones before the Eretria amphitheater The amphitheater of EretriaThe current city is built at a short distance, so that there are still many remains to be seen covering a large area. Excavations started at the end of the 19th century. We drive by car past the various monuments such as the amphitheater which is one of the oldest in Greece. There are remains of some temples, including one for the Egyptian goddess Isis and the gymnasium, which was a training school in classical Greece for athletes who participated in public games such as the Olympic Games.
The house of the mosaics in Eretria has been carefully packed The baths of ancient EretriaSome parts of the extensive grounds are open, but some are fenced off and the house of the mosaics is largely covered. We were curious about this because there would be all kinds of mythological scenes.
The foundations of the old baths can still be seen in the center of the contemporary city. We have now looked at everything quickly but I have such a vague suspicion that we will come back here someday.
A Frankish tower in the south of Evia The port town of Marmari on EviaAnd then we have to drive the whole way back. In Nea Styra we stop for something to eat, but unfortunately for Teije, pizza is not available. And he has been looking forward to that for days, but luckily there is more to eat. Along the way we occasionally see towers in the distance that were probably built by Crusaders or the Venetians. We try to get a bit closer to one, but for that you have to walk a long way and with 37 degrees we are not really looking forward to that, so we drive home.
Where we are met by the son of the owner. Whether we have already been in the room? No, not yet, we say. Nice, he says, because I put down a surprise this afternoon, a meal with all local ingredients. Hopefully he put it in the fridge. But no, there is a plate of potatoes on the counter and some things that we don't recognize because it is completely covered with a mass of ants that feast on all the goodies. It doesn't look that tasty anymore and we put it in a bag that we later throw in a container on the street. It was a very nice gesture, though.


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