Greece, Syros Island –  Mountain climbing within the Princess of the Aegean

While Syros shouldn’t be as nicely generally known as its extra well-known neighbours (Mykonos, Paros, Naxos or Santorini), it’s the capital and administrative centre of this group of Greek islands, the Cyclades (aka in Greek as Kyklades). It isn’t a preferred vacationer vacation spot – however that’s in itself a very compelling cause to go to.

Syros Ermoupolis

Ermoupolis city Syros c. Hans Peter Schaefer, Wikipedia  

The island’s historical past, notably the primary city of Ermoupoli (aka Hermoupoli) is the capital of the Cyclades. With its cobbled streets and wonderful neoclassical and Venetian structure is rather more attention-grabbing and culturally numerous than a lot of the different Cycladic islands mixed. (The group contains 56 islands, 24 of that are inhabited). 

Past the city, there’s an astonishing landscaped that begs to be explored.

Drive to Fish Hook

Fish Hook Syros

Fish Hook

From my residence on the midwest facet of the island, I look north up the coast and might see the “Fish Hook” prime finish, approx 10 kms away. I had thus all the time wonderlusted about this very distant uninhabited, rugged and rocky top-end – Syros/Syra means rock. I had rounded this mysterious and alluring level many occasions on the ferry however by no means ventured thus far by foot.

So when my adventurous, intrepid English mate (I’m an Aussie) and skilled hiker (Gordon) mentioned he knew the way in which, I jumped on the likelihood. We set out on a heat and sunny Could spring day.

From our village of Kini we wanted to drive to the northernmost accessible highway’s finish of the island, being the agricultural space of Kambos. The half-hour drive up, up, up, is fascinating in itself, taking you previous the well-known archaeological web site of Chalandriani.

It’s from right here that Cycladic artefacts (carbon-dated at round 2,500 BC) had been found and at the moment are on show on the Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London, and different museums.

This northern half is probably the most elevated a part of the island, which, along with its rugged remoteness, affords a very otherworldly expertise. Assume lunar landscapes and the like particularly round Grammata Bay. The sense of isolation right here is all-pervading.

Grammata Bay

Grammata Bay

2-hour trek from Kambos to the highest

At Kambos, we deserted the automotive and commenced the 2-hour hike in direction of the islands prime finish, alongside a slim observe frequented extra by wild feral goats than curious people.

The trail is in most elements undulating and rocky, so care is required in find out how to go and the place to position your toes. All the way in which alongside the central ridge that the trail follows, the views are superb, searching on the close by islands of Andros, Tinos and Mykonos to the east, and Yaros, Kea and Kythnos within the west.

Venomous Vipers in these elements are very toxic and might result in dying

Being springtime, we had been aware of not disturbing snakes and goannas popping out of their winter hibernation, with our shuffling toes on the slim observe.

The venomous Vipers in these elements are very toxic and might result in dying if a chunk shouldn’t be handled rapidly. This might not be potential in such a distant location. Being an Australian, one is all the time cautious of such prospects.

The cruel and barren topography and flora are able to surviving the sweltering dry, windy summers. The world was nonetheless in bloom, with some low peak resilient floor cowl and shrubs being springtime. Sage and Thyme are a pure native right here, and their fantastic scent provides to the stark magnificence.

We may see herds of half a dozen or extra wild goats roaming the mountainside, having fun with the nice and cozy sunshine and abundance of floor cowl. After the chilly and windy winters, this have to be their most pleasing time of the 12 months.

They’re a novel species apparently, bigger and furrier than the goats seen in most different elements. This very distant location affords them security from pure predators, so that is their area.

We reached our vacation spot of the fish hook land’s finish the late afternoon, with the solar heading for a western sundown. It was an unusually windless day, and with the ocean under us so calm and tranquil, it was a surreal setting. A passing ferry about one kilometre away was the one reminder of civilisation and our intrusion on this chic place.

Fish Hook, Syros

Closing vacation spot – different finish of fish hook

From this spot, I may look again in a southerly course down the coast and make out the faint define of my residence, from whence, we got here a number of hours earlier.

The lengthy trek again

With “mission achieved” (and having one other field ticked on exploring this excellent island), we commenced the lengthy and difficult trek again. It was nightfall after we arrived again on the welcome sight of our ready automotive.

Bodily fatigued however in excessive spirits from the journey, we drove to an area Taverna on the close by village of Sa Michalis. There we joined our different much less adventurous pals, for a nicely earnt genuine conventional Greek supper, of mountain delicacies.

A beautiful and exhilarating day on sunny Syros. They often say it’s not the vacation spot that counts, however the journey. On this event, it was each.

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