This spring I was lucky enough to travel to Greece with a group of friends to climb on the island of Kalymnos. It was a great escape from the winter-which-wouldn't-end and a great start to the 2015 climbing season! Here are some photos that I took along the way.
My little chalk bag factory, before heading out. Zach, my husband, volunteered to mail orders for me while I was away, so I pre-made a bunch of chalk bags to keep him stocked up.
After flights from Boston to Zurich and Zurich to Athens, this little plane carried us to the southern Aegean island of Kos.
On our ferry ride from Kos, Kalymnos appears on the horizon through the mist of a wet day. Apparently it rained more than usual this spring in this region, so we were lucky to have clear weather for most of our trip. It only rained on planned rest days!
The crew, minus Alycia who joined us a week into the trip. You may not be able to tell from this photo, but we were pretty excited.
Approaching the port city of Pothia, the capital of Kalymnos.
We arrived on the island in time to get a few pitches in at Symplegades, a crag that was relatively close to our lodging at the Climbing House in Panormos. We never tired of the view of the neighboring island of Telendos.
Our first sunset
Approaching the Grande Grotta, past a rare hillside tree
Other-worldly tufas and stalactites, some which took nearly a million years to form, waiting patiently to be climbed
Such a beautiful and special place
Jeremy climbs Ivi and models a red and black plaid KMB chalk bag.
Anne on the 3 dimensional climbing of DNA in the Grande Grotta, wearing a barn owls chalk bag
We shared the approaches and descents with herds of goats and sheep. After long days of grazing on herbs and shrubs they somehow all know when to head home.
Not the least of the joys on Kalymnos, being a member of a scooter gang
A rest day walk around the Castle of Chora
Jordan (wearing a tree silhouette chalk bag) climbing The End of Mythos at the Balcony Helvetia of Arhi sector
Janet starting up the steep, bouldery route Lucky Luca at the Odyssey sector with her trusty sheep chalk bag
We were so lucky to be on Kalymnos in its green season. Wild herbs such as sage, thyme, and oregano surrounded us on the hillsides, as well as a huge variety of wild flowers. This must be the favorite season of the Kalymnian bee population.
Anne cruising Atena at the Odyssey sector
Back at the Climbing House in Panormos our calico friend "Junior" anxiously awaited our return each day. Sometimes she brought a friend.
Feeling like we needed an extra rest day but not wanting to miss out on any climbing day fun, we decided to check out the easy, multi-pitch climbing on Telendos. We broke into groups of 3 (Alycia had joined us by this point) and tackled the routes "Wild Country" and "Wings for Life". The ferry dropped us off below the routes on the south shore of the island.
On top of Telendos after 11 fun and airy pitches
The 2 hour hike back to the ferry port afforded us great views of the Masouri climbing sectors. From left to right you can see sectors from Spartacus to Ourania, the Grande Grotta being the obvious feature on the left.
Do not be fooled by the sun and green in this photo. This was a freezing cold day! 35 mph winds drove us to seek out shelter in the Jurassic Park sector but to no avail. The wind just swirled around the walls blowing hats off of climbers and nearly blowing hanging ropes over the top of the cliffs. Brrrrrr!
One of the most fun and scenic parts of the scooter drive to some of the more northern crags. This is the beginning of the strip where you can drive fast enough to make your eyes tear up! Across the inlet is a good view of Arhi sector.
Ευχαριστώ Καλυμνοσ! Until next time! Now off to Athens for a couple of days.
Entire goats and lambs turned on spits over wood coals outside of some of the restaurants in the plaza.
Cobbled pedestrian streets in the Plaka neighborhood of Athens
How could we not stop into Bretto's, with its colorful walls of backlit bottles of homemade spirits? Here we sampled some Brandy, Mastika (tastes like carrots!) and Ouzo.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus
Sunset and a view of the Acropolis from a rooftop bar
The Erechteion in the Acropolis
A view of Ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus from Areopagus, or "Mars Hill"
The Temple of Hephaestus
We made it back to New England just in time for the beginning of the outdoor season. Perfect timing!
Thanks for visiting!