This was another mind-bending visit, from our mooring in Mandraki. En route, we stopped off in the cove of Giali for a swim. Then passed a giant quarry on the island of Yali, that apparently extracts volcanic materials like pumice and perlite. long ago it was a key source of obsidian, too.
A sense of the history of mining in the region can be gained here. From the Internet, I learned that the miners are committed to sustainable development. Let’s see what that means when the site is worked out.
A good deal of quarrying must have gone into building the astonishing castle at Paliokastro, though the real astonishment lay in the close-cut, irregular masonry used to build the walls. Probably to ward off earthquakes, but strongly reminiscent of Inca stonework.
Going down into the crater that lurks at the heart of Nisyros was a special treat, though I wondered whether Elaine would manage with the smell of hydrogen sulphide – given that she had such problems at Larderello, Italy, when I was researching my book Sun Traps back in the 1980s. The reality turned out to be rather glorious, with the group drinking a local nut milk concoction under giant eucalyptus trees, whose prolific blossoms were thrumming with aerial legions of bees.
In the evening we headed up into a hilltop village that looks down on the crater, for a stunning meal in a little family-owned restaurant. Pretty sure that this was the Emporeiou taverna. Would love to go again if I happened to be passing.