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Greece 10: Tinos-- An Island Mountaintop

After a long, crowded bus-ride from Athens to the port of Rafina, we ate salad at quayside, and then ferried the two-and-a-half hours to the island of Tinos at night. A small manual transmission car was waiting for us there at the dock.  We signed the papers and left on what we were told would be a short trip to the little fishing village of Panormos.  And it would have been short too, if not for the total blackness, the mountain switchbacks, the places where the pavement was washed away, the pot holes, the fallen rocks, the goats standing in the road, and the fog.  It took an hour or more to go the last 23 miles. Had a crow raced us, it would have been in bed sleeping a half hour before we arrived. By the time I parked the car I was jelly-kneed, my eyes firing false images at me like random strobe lights.

After seeing in daylight the route I drove that night, I was grateful for the darkness.  Tinos is a mountain ridge poking up out of the Aegean Sea.  There are some sloping valleys and plateaus, but our route was etched into the sides of cliffs, hundreds of feet above the sea.  It is a place where your normally mild acrophobia can rear up and grab you by the throat!

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Cydonia photo: ESA

This is the journal of David Ross
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