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Samos in off season

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Ruins of Pompeii, Italy
Florence, Italy
Cappadocia, Turkey
Selçuk, Turkey

Fort near Pythagoria on Samos

It is only a small hop from Turkey to the Greek island of Samos. But it is also a step from Asia to Europe, from the Islam to Christianity, from millions of cheap Lira’s to a few expensive Euro’s. Tourist season on the Greek islands is over, but we do not know whether that’s good or not.

We take the early ferry from Kusadasi to Samos. From the sea we can see the sunrise behind the mainland of Turkey. A little later the little boat turns into the bay where the harbor of Samos-city is located. After passing customs, we are ready to look for a place to stay.

Before we can reach one of the pensions we are overtaken by an abdominous Greek, who tells us that most of the pensions are closed, except for his of course. We walk with him, but tell him we also want to see other pensions for comparison. He doesn’t want that, and he starts giving discounts. When the price has dropped to a reasonable amount, we decide to accept his offer. After all, it’s a nice room with a bath, TV, kitchenette, balcony, and two lovely housecats.

After checking in, we head for the center of town for breakfast. We find a nice little restaurant at the boulevard, but the prices amaze us. We are back in Euro district, just to remind us. For the following days we decide to buy groceries at the supermarket, to make our own breakfast. Further exploration of the town doesn’t bring much of interest. A central square, park, some churches, and a few shopping streets. We have to leave town for something more interesting.

Shopping isn’t easy either. The shops are open in the morning until 1 PM, then they close to reopen at 5.30 PM until 9 PM. It takes a while to get used to a new routine:


We take the bus to bring us to Pythagoria, on the North side of the island. Here we walk up to some ruins first (not of much interest), and to a convent. We are joined by a street dog, and at the antique watertunnels we can play a little with some young cats.

Statue of Pythagoras in Pythagoria, SamosWe walk back to Pythagoria, where we take a look at the fort at the sea. Nice for a few pictures, but there is nobody here, nor is there something to see or do. So we decide to search for some food. But that’s not easy either. In summer, Pythagoria is packed with tourists, but it is deserted now, and all the restaurants are closed. In the end, we find a place which serves us some kind of spaghetti with greasy chunks of meat. We will just have to do with that.

We walk along the coastline at the harbor of Pythagoria. It looks a little sad, the wind pounds the waves at the deserted pier. Land inwards we do find some nice looking streets, but nobody on the streets here either. We only run into Pythagoras himself (who discovered a square plus b square equals c square), but his museum is closed as well. Except for the dogs who follow us (there are three of them now), we see only a lot of cats, and one Canadian man, who is renovating his pension. He tells us he will leave in a couple of days as well, leaving Pythagoria to the very few locals.

For further exploration of Samos, we need to rent a motorbike. Needless to say, most of the rental shops are closed. The only shop that is open, however, tells us he already rented the 3 (!) motorbikes he has available to others. For us, that is the last drop. Obviously, nobody on Samos, and probably the rest of the Greek islands as well, is expecting or welcoming tourists after October. We decide to change our island hopping plans, and take the first available ferry to Athens.

View on the sea from the streets of Vathy, SamosIn the meanwhile, we have to spend two more days in Samos, without transportation other than the bus. We decide to walk to the old part of Samos city, which is actually called Vathy. It is a steep climb up, and at first sight there are no signs of the lovely old streets which are supposed to be here. But after a while we enter the old town. There is an small modern amphitheatre, however, with Olympic rings. But next to that is an old church, and behind it are the old streets. This is what we would have imagined in Greece, and what we already saw in Sirince in Turkey. But other than those streets and a view over the city and sea, there is not much to be seen here, so we return to our pension.

The rest of our time on Samos we spend in our room, watching television and playing with the cats. Samos is probably a great destination in summer, but there is no use going there after October. We did find some nice spots, but they were completely deserted. And when we can’t even rent a motorbike, there is no reason to stay here longer.

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