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on Wednesday we drove north from Mesta to Volissos, a working mountain village in northwest Chios. After a terrific lunch of locally raised salad and veggies, we drove around the northeast part of the island on narrow mountain roads with breathtaking views of forests, streams, and the sea. After a brief stop at an ancient temple of Cybele, popularly known as "Homer's seat" (he was thought to teach and recite here), we cruised into Chios Town and back to the Grecian Castle ...
... ravaged by the Turks. The first has remained a ghost town, but the second is being revived as a weekend and holiday getaway with lovely little houses and breathtaking sea views. On the way back to Mesta, we had tea in the charming mastic village of Vessa and a great seaside fish dinner in Limenas. ...
Yesterday we drove to Mesta, in southwestern Chios, our base for exploring the mastihohoria or mastic villages. These walled, fortified towns were the center of the mastic trade, which flourished on Chios from the 16th century to the end of Turkish rule. (Mastic was used to make chewing gum, flavorings, medicine, and fixatives.) Mesta is dark but beautiful. Pyrgi, which we visited today, is a work of art - full of black and white houses decorated in the Genoese sgraffito style. ...
... d traitorously collaborated with the Persians.
Today we headed inland to the Mastic Villages (more on them later), with a stop in Cambos, a wealthy rural area just south of Chios Town. We hoped to see the former home of the Zygomalas, a Greek merchant family of Genoese origin. Mary's great-aunt Hilda North had married into the British branch of the family in the ...
... Bev our Australian hostess provided me with cold & flu tablets which were very helpful. So I rested whilst the group toured some of Chios and visited a citrus farm, of which the latter wasn't so very interesting.
Lunch on the ship, and about noon we set sail for Mykonos.