Let them eat cake
We had a birthday coming up on Spacegrazer and the kids were very excited about it. Granddad would turn 68 while staying with us. We had already shopped for cake ingredients a while back, so we could be sure that wherever we would be, we would be able to celebrate properly.
It turned out that we would be in a quiet little bay on Astipalia island. It was an interesting place, with an abandoned factory and a ruin of a boat winch, and off course a beautiful little white-and-blue church. The kids did a great job decorating granddad’s birthday cake. We ate the entire cake between the 7 of us and called it lunch…
In the afternoon we sailed to the main town of Astipalia. Most islands in this area have a Skala and a Chora. The skala is the newer town, situated below by the sea. It will have a little port or an anchor bay. The chora is the old town, built on the top of a hill. It is usually part of a fortified castle, or at least surrounded by high walls and will have a castle or monastery-type structure in the middle. The entire chora is often hidden from view until you are close in, or looking from a certain angle. These old towns go back to the days when the Greek island where plagued by pirates. Having the town on a hilltop meant that the people could see them coming, and as the guidebook points out, gave them time to lock up their valuables and daughters…
We anchored near Skala, to have a lovely birthday dinner at a restaurant on the beach. We enjoyed the view over the bay and old Chora on top of the hill – including a full moon!
The next day we took the bus up Chora and enjoyed wandering around the pretty old houses, windmills and off course the castle. We had iced coffees and milkshakes in an Australian-Greek cafe an then walked back to Skala – going downhill is so much easier!