Greece: Next stop Samos
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth part of a series sharing my recent travels to Greece.
The island of Samosnwas not a scheduled stop on our itinerary. Our group, with EF Tours, had originally planned to disembark at Ephesus; however, with the U.S. warning in place on travelers to Turkey, we were dropped at Samos instead.
What a perfect place to have on our tour!
We were required to exit the cruise ship via tender boats at the early hour of 5:30 a.m. so that the rest of the ship’s tourists could head on to Ephasus for their scheduled tour.
Because our trip was radically interrupted with this move, the Hotel Samos graciously provided us with a delicious breakfast as we waited for dawn.
We then traveled via bus to visit the Temple of Hera.
The temple of Hera is the largest Greek temple ever built which was faithfully reconstructed by Polykrates to replace the previous model designed by the architects Rhoikos and Theodoros of Samos and destroyed by an earthquake.
Much of the area was covered in grass and brush; however, walking around the Temple, we could discern archeological artifacts of what was once a complete set of buildings surrounding the temple.
A small museum showed drawings of what the original area had looked like and had hundreds of stones that are to be reassembled piece by piece.
Following our visit to the Temple, we returned to the port city of Pythagorio. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Pythagoras, the mathematician was born there.
Many yachts and sailing boats moor here in the large, picturesque harbour.
From the port, we were able to walk thorugh the city with to shop and sightsee.
As with other islands we visited, there were steps and streets going up into the countryside as many homes are built on the hillside.
Samantha and I walked for several miles uphill following a sign that led us to believe there was a monestary to visit. We did not find it before turning around; however, when we traveled back downhill we did discover a wonderful little museum filled with artifacts dating from as far back as 700 B.C.
There are several archeological sites worth visiting in the area.
Other sites of Pythagorion are the statue of Pythagoras, the Castle of Likourgos, the Church of Metamorphosis, The Ephpalinos Tunnel, the Church of Spiliani with its chapel in the cave, the Roman Baths and The Lake of Glifada.
Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to visit the majority of these sites.
The town used to be known as Tigani, because of its shape, but later was named after the mathematician Pythagoras.
Pythagorio has been declared as a Unesco Cultural World Heritage Site. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
Next stop: Patmos.