SCHINOUSSA ISLAND

I had a terrific breakfast this morning!

You will recall Maria and Nikolas have a garden. They sell vegetables to Amorgos’ restaurants. Maria was especially proud of their tomatoes.

Last night when I returned from Schinoussa Island, Nikolas drove up. He handed me a bag of tomatoes. Twelve plump beauties. I refrigerated them till this morning.

Tomatoes are actually part of the fruit family. So why not have them for breakfast! I sliced away, covered them with olive oil, threw on a little oreganato and salt. Earlier, I had gone to the bakery. I bought a small French loaf of whole wheat bread.

The sun had just come up. I sat outside and enjoyed my breakfast. Absolutely magnificent! The best tasting tomatoes I have ever eaten!

The tomatoes have nothiong to do with Schinoussa Island. They were so good I had to share my pleasure with you.

As sometimes we say in Key West…..I have to get off the rock, I felt like getting off Amorgos yesterday. Decided to visit Schinoussa Island.

The Greek Isles are like the Florida Keysandr the Thousand islands on the St. Lawrence. Many. All sizes, all shapes. Different attractions. You get to them by ferry boat. The ferry boat is the bus line between the smaller islands. I took the 7 a.m. ferry.

A two hour trip. Had to stop Koutonisti Island first. A pleasant trip. I slept most of the way.

Why Schinoussa? The locals are aware I enjoy Amorgos because of its peace and quiet. They told me if I really wanted peace and quiet, I should visit Schinoussa. I took their advice.

Schinoussa’s port was nowhere. I was dropped off where nothing existed. Only three small houses scattered in the distance. A dirt road. I subsequently found out most of the roads are unpaved.

A little more Schinoussa fact wise.

Schinoussa has a total population estimated beytween 120-150 persons. Its size is 2 miles x 2 miles. Much like the size of Key West. It has two cities. Chora, its capital and I cannot remember the name of the other. The other was on the opposite side of the island and had a population of 20. Many beaches. Sand fine, but gray colored. Water magnificent. Blue and clear.

Goats abound. White and black/gray. Another dart in my albino theory! A total of six pensiones on the whole island.

Very few vehicles. Transportation is by pedmobile. You walk. The alternative is to ride a donkey. Many of the natives do. There are few motor vehicles. Generally, they are pick up trucks.

The ferry boat cost 16 euros round trip. $17 American money. That had me sitting in the special lounge class. A comfortable easy chair. Refreshments available for purchase.

I landed. I was standing on Mother Earth. How the hell was I going to get around? By the way, I was the only one who got off the boat at Schinoussa.

A beat up pick up truick appeared out of nowhere. A man offered me a ride. He spoke excellent English. Turned out he owned one of the six pensiones on the island. His game was to pick up a tourist such as myself and show him his place. Grispos Villas.

Grispos Villas was lovely! Relatively new, great rooms and balconies overlooking the Aegean Sea. A magnificednt beach. A restaurant to boot. There are only four on the island.

The beaches were different from others I have recently seen. There were trees. Amorgos has no trees. Only large bushes and not many of them. Schinoussa was loaded with trees. The beaches reminded me of the ones in Tampa/St. Petersburg. A wide beach backed by trees. The trees were low overhanging and provided excellent shelter from the sun.

Grispos was the name of the man who picked me up at the port, the owner of Grispos Villas. He wanted to drive me around the island. I said no, let me walk. It was impossible to get lost. The island was relatively flat.

I was walking along a dirt road running parallel to the beach when another pick up truck came by and stopped. This one was really old. Like maybe 30 years. The driver was equally old. I should not say that as I am 78. He probably was younger. However his years in the sun had weathered, bronzed and wrinkled his face. As well as his vehicle.

His name was Dion.

He offered me a ride. I took it. By this time, I was tired from the sun and dusty. Remember, most of the roads are dirt.

Dion worked the land and kept goasts and mules. He had both colored goats. One of the whites was big. Not an albino, of course.

He took me to Chora. Chora is the island’s capital.

Every Greek isle has a Chora. It is the old town. The oldest on an island. Generally going back 1,500 years. Not this Chora. Looked relatively new compared to the others I had seen. It was.

This Chora was only one street long. It was constructed after 1800. Prior to 1800, no one lived on Schinoussa. For some reason I could not determine, a small group settled the island at that time. They came from Amorgos. Would you believe! No 1,500 years for this Chora. Probably less than 200 years.

I took the ferry back later in the afternoon. Arrived in Amorgos at six.

Schinoussa was quiet and peaceful. More quiet than Amorgos. Next year, I plan on spending a week on Schinoussa. Most of the time will be spent contemplating my navel.

A big military vessel came in last night. A Greek Navy ship. It is sitting just inside the entrance to the bay.

I am not a ship expert. Especially a military one. The ship had to be bigger than a cruiser or destroyer. Not as large as a carrier.

Very ominous. Created a bit of fear in me. I could understand how when we have trouble with a foreign country, we send a carrier to sit off its shore. Has to scare the hell out of those who see it!

Amorgos was loaded with sailors last night. All in deress whites.

My friend Terri White. She returns to New York City for an engagement on July 31. From a park bench to Park Ave.

Terri will be appearing at the 54 Below Broadway Night Club. If you are in New York at the time, watch Terri perform. She is the best!

Tonight, dinner in Chora. I am going to visit Maria at her store before.

Enjoy your day!

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