Ah – Lemnos – Sunshine and Fun

Looking in the direction of the resort from atop the castle in Myrina

So my friend Simon and I headed to Lemnos, Greece for a week’s holiday.  And it was lovely to have sunshine and warmth.  We were actually at a Neilson resort, which if you have not heard of them, is basically like a camp for adults (well kids are there too).  But you are provided as part of the package with access and instruction in a variety of sports including in this case sailing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, tennis, fitness, mountain biking and even swimming.  I focused on tennis.  Simon focused on sailing.  But I also sailed, hiked, biked, kayaked, sup’d and anything else I could do from a fitness perspective.

The resort from the mountain on the other side that I hiked up

But let me first tell you about Lemnos.  It is the 8th largest island of all the Greek Islands.  Lemnos is mostly flat (hence its more than 30 sand beaches), but the northwest part is rough and mountainous. The main town is Myrina, on the western coast. Myrina (also called Kastro, meaning “castle”) has a lovely old castle ruin upon its high rocky outcrop. We had a lovely time exploring that.  And I love ruins as any of my readers would know.

Part of the castle ruins built into and using the natural mountain structure.

The hillsides afford pasture for sheep, and Lemnos has a strong husbandry tradition, being famous for its Kalathaki Limnou, a cheese made from sheep and goat milk and melipasto cheese, and for its yogurt. And I had close experience with those hillsides.  Yes they do have pasture for sheep but they also support these highly prickly low profile bushes that from afar look green and lush but close up left a mess of my legs!

Simon holding up part of the castle wall :)

And at Neilson we did get to sample the amazing Greek yogurt every day so I can attest to it being absolutely amazing and none of the yogurt you find in the stores is even close to it.

Colourful traditional Greek fishing boats in the Myrina harbour

Fruit and vegetables that grow on the island include almonds, figs,melons, watermelons, tomatoes, pumpkins and olives. The main crops are wheat,barley, sesame; in fact Lemnos was Constantinople’s granary during Byzantine times. Constantinople of course is Istanbul but the Greeks refuse to call it that.

A forgotten building enroute walking to Myrina

Lemnos also produces honey (from thyme-fed bees), but, as is the case with most products of a local nature in Greece, the produced quantities are little more than simply sufficient for the local market. Muscat grapes are grown widely, and are used to produce an unusual table wine that is dry yet has a strong Muscat flavor. Since 1985 the variety and quality of Lemnos wines have increased greatly and we had the opportunity to tour a modern and traditional winery, but I will write about that in another post.

The view a soldier might have had one day

The island has an international airport, whose construction was encouraged by Winston Churchill either after or during the war due to the island’s strategic location.  Ironically it was only the plane containing all the Neilson holiday makers which came in and left on the days of our arrival and departure.  So that is kind of funny in a way.

Simply glorious

Anyway, there is your brief history lesson for the moment and I shall post more shortly.  Mwah!