We detoured from our planned itinerary today, to visit the wonderful and unspoiled island called Sifnos. Our captain expertly maneuvered Sea Cloud into the small harbor at Kamares and we went ashore. The first part of our adventure took us across the island to the village of Kastro. The drive was wonderful and scenic and offered us beautiful views of the steep landscape defining this island. It was very green ashore and many of the flowers were in bloom, perhaps due to the unseasonable moisture that has fallen in the Aegean in the last week.
Kastro is a very quiet, unassuming town, built in the Venetian style. Eleni and Sophia pointed out to us the natural defenses the village would have had, to fend off marauding pirates. The town itself, another example of whitewashed Cycladic architecture, was quite different in style from the others we have seen, however. Tiny, winding alleyways and small, colorful doors and windows greeted us on all sides. There was also a fantastic view of the dramatic Church of the Seven Martyrs, just below us on the cliff, below the village.
After enjoying coffee and sweets at some of the local cafes, we returned to Kamares to wander a bit. Kamares (and the island of Sifnos in general) is known for its pottery. This quiet, seaside village has many shops with a variety of colorfully glazed pieces. The awaiting tenders returned us to our floating home, many of us laden down with bags and bags of thrown pots.
In the afternoon, the Captain deemed the conditions perfect to take out the Zodiacs for a photo expedition. We gathered up our cameras, our life jackets, and waited at the gangway. The ship in full sail is a beautiful sight and I believe no one left disappointed. A fine diversion was provided by the baker Daniel, who was creating made-to-order milkshakes just forward of the gangway.
Sophia and Eleni answered any and all questions about Greek life, culture, and history as we prepared for the Farewell Cocktail Party and the Captain’s Dinner. Our week on Sea Cloud was quicker than we imagined it could be, but we are all departing with smiles on our faces, and a newfound affection for this wonderful place they call the Cyclades.
Until next time, Sea Cloud…