Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chios Day Two

Our second day in Chios marked the four month-versary of us (well, me because of my passport troubles) living in Turkey!  What a four months it has been!  It's kind of funny that we weren't in Turkey to celebrate, but we had quite the day in Greece.

We woke up to the sun shining, which was a nice change from the previous day filled with rain.  Since it was so nice out, we wanted to go to the ancient town of Mesta, but weren't sure what the most economical way to get there was.  We figured the receptionist at our hotel would be our best resource and we were right.  She knew of a tour group that goes to Mesta and provides a bus for transportation.  It sounded perfect, except for the fact that it was in Turkish!  

Everywhere we went in Chios, we were surrounded by Turkish writing and Turkish people.  It wasn't surprising, given how close Chios is to Turkey, but it definitely made us laugh.  We opted for the tour, knowing that I wouldn't be able to understand anything and Mike might not understand everything.  We really didn't care about The tour guide was nice enough to give us a discounted price of 15 euros each instead of 20 euros.  

After a late start (we were on a Turkish tour, so I guess we shouldn't have been too surprised), we boarded the bus.  Mike was able to fill me in on a few bits and pieces of information throughout the bus ride, but even without the translation, it was an enjoyable ride.  I always enjoy looking out the window as we're driving and taking in the geography of whatever region we're in. 

After a few stops, we made it to Mesta, which was our desired destination.  It was definitely worth the trip down there because it is exactly what I imagined an ancient Greek town looking like. 














As we walked through the town, we were greeted by the townspeople who stood outside of their houses to greet us.  It was so charming and added to the ambiance of the little town.  About halfway through our stop, we reached a church.  From the outside, it didn't look like too much, but the inside was beautiful.  






Once we left the church, we boarded the bus and headed to lunch.  This entire trip, both Mike and I were craving gyros.  We thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to find them, but we were once again disappointed.  Instead, we found a lot of the same food that we would find in Izmir, which makes sense given their proximity, but we were still disappointed.  This view from our table made up for it, though.



We were quickly greeted by the waiter who was extremely impatient with us.  The menu was in Greek and Turkish, so it took us a little while to figure out what we wanted to eat.  He began to suggest things and I finally just started to say yes because I could tell he was getting irritated.  This was definitely not the right move because our bill was pretty high and our food was not what we really wanted. 

For appetizers, we had calamari and....


Octopus!!


I like calamari and even picky eater Mike will eat them, but neither of us were fans of the octopus.  It was way too chewy and tough and didn't have that much flavor.  I think we'll opt out the next time.  For lunch, we got the Greek version of kofte and chicken kebap.  Overall, it was a disappointing meal and we left feeling frustrated that we got taken advantage of as tourists. 

To rejuvenate ourselves for the second half our tour, we walked along the water and took in the beautiful scenery.  I think Mike summed it up best when he said "I'm trying to think how much a property like this would cost in the states, but I don't know a number big enough."










Our last stop on the tour was back in the Mesta town square for a cup of tea.  This is one part of Turkish culture I've grown to love.  I think tea after dinner is such great way to digest all of your food, while still enjoying the company of your friends of family.











Tea in the town square



This sign reminded me so much of my grandmother and how she was such a big proponent of people volunteering their time and talents for their city.  She would have been proud!

And this little guy reminded me so much of my furry guy back at home.  I can't count how many times I've seen Scout in this exact position enjoying a morning, afternoon, or evening nap.  

Some sort of memorial.....Mike's Turkish is pretty good, but even he couldn't understand what the tour guide was saying.

We boarded the bus and headed back to the hotel.  We only had about an hour before our ferry left, so we grabbed our bags and made the trek to the ferry.  Luckily, this time it was sunny out, so we could enjoy the walk.

Not a bad view...


Overall, we thought Chios was a nice place to go, but I don't know if we'd go again.  It was extremely similar to Turkey, so we didn't feel as though we were in another country.  We both agreed that we would go back for a festival or event, but probably not for a weekend escape.  There are a few other Greek islands that we want to check out before we repeat Chios.