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The Island of Evia - A Greek Holiday

Day 6 ... Styra to Drakospita, the Acropolis and Return   

West Essex Ramblers walked this on Monday, 2nd May 2011

In a municipality of Evia, Styra is the main town. There is also New Styra on the coast and the Isle of Styra (It can be confusing). Close to the town are the Acropolis of Styra (later the Armenian Fortress), and three Dragon Houses from the seventh century BC. Our walk took us to these two ancient sites. For further reading, Click on Styra

The Town of Styra

The Town of Styra

The Church (Tower is visible) is full size later on.

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

We walked for 1½ hours from the centre of Styra to Drakospita (Dragon House) by lanes and tracks then took a short drink break before climbing up to the Drakospita. There was not too much to photograph except for goats, which eventually condescended to move out of our way.

Goats blocked our path

Goats blocked our path

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Ah, the goats moved off

Ah, the goats moved off

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Flowers up at the Drakospita

Flowers up at the Drakospita

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

A respite and reflection

A respite and reflection

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Damaged roof of one of the Houses

Damaged roof of one of the houses

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

A Dragon House about to be entered

A Dragon House about to be entered

Photographer: Harry Hawkins


Inside the House

Inside the House

The circular roof resembled a smoke hole

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

There are twelve Dragon Houses in southern Evia of which only four are in relatively good condition - impressive considering they are 2,700 years old. Little is known about them. This group of three is called "Pali Laka Draglo", their condition being second only to the one on Mount Ochi's peak.

What's this, it look artificial

What's this, it look artificial

Maybe it was the result of quarrying

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Those on the short walk left us then returned the way they came. We continued upwards from Drakospita. At first, the  terrain was steep climbing rocks through a wood, which stretched short legs (like mine). Then perhaps some stone workings and more rocks interspersed with trees. It was not particularly difficult, but it was steep - however, I took fewer photos because I needed to focus on where I placed my feet.

What appeared to be Discarded Rock

What appeared to be Discarded Rock

Photographer: Harry Hawkins


We were on mount Kliosi (also, I believe, known as St Nickolas after the 18th century church there). At the top was originally the Styra Acropolis (a former high city) which subsequently had a fortress built over it - named the Armenian Castle or Katro Larmena or Castro Armeno or Aghious (Saint) Nickolaos or something else!

Walking up the ridge's slope towards the Church

Walking up the ridge's slope towards the Church

Click for 2 photos

Photographer: Harry Hawkins


We took lunch on the lower part of a ridge, on Mount Kliosi, after which we walked to the top. It was difficult to tell what was natural and what was manmade fortification, but there was one recognisable ruin and that was the castle gate. We had a spectacular view over Styra, the sea and Styra Island, which up to this point, had been hidden by the mountain. One sheet of rock would have been dangerous if wet. The a way down from the Gate was considered to have "difficult" bits so we walked an alternative path.

The Church of St Nickolas

The Church of St Nickolas

Click for 2 Photos - of the Interior

Photographer: Harry Hawkins


Taking in the view - From 650m

Click for 3 Photos

Taking in the view - From 650 m

Rock structure and the "dangerous" rock sheet

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Armenian's Castle Gate

Armenian's Castle Gate (click for more info).

There is a tricky path down from here

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

View shows Styra, the sea and the Isle of Styra

View shows Styra, the sea and the Isle of Styra

(Off picture, to the left, was the Castle Gate)

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

We walked back to the church

We walked back to the church

See the next photo's view

Then we carried on to the base of the ridge

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Still at the top

Still at the top - earlier we walked in front of the mountain then turned right  at the lower fork (this picture). We returned on the left fork.

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

A skull of presumable  a goat

A skull of presumable a goat

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

At the base of the ridge, we turned left then walked down a mule track: it was quite easy walking bar some thorny bits with rocks underfoot. One animal did not make it! We saw the mountain's profile and further down looked at the view in the general direction we were heading. A lizard posed for me and before the road "fork", I steadied the camera, and zoomed in on Drakospita. Finally we walked past more local fauna, drank beer in steins and then went home.

Mountain Top Profile

Mountain Top Profile

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

We aimed for the first fork (to the left as we look)

We aimed for the first fork (to the left as we look)

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Just the nearby terrain

Just the nearby terrain

I think the path was only a little bit better

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Lizard

Lizard

Photographer: Harry Hawkins


Drakospita, several hundreds of yards away

Drakospita, several hundreds of yards away

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Tortoise in the undergrowth

Tortoise in the undergrowth

Click for 2 photos

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

A fine looking Goat

A fine looking goat

Click for 2 photos

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Hens, as we re-enter Styra

Hens, as we re-enter Styra

Click for 2 photos

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

A greek bar serving beer in steins!

A Greek bar serving beer in steins!

That means a couple of beers is 3½ pints

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Styra Church

Styra Church

Photographer: Harry Hawkins


I think this is Mount Kliosi taken from (near) Styra

I think this is Mount Kliosi taken from (near) Styra

The white dot looks like the church

Photographer: Harry Hawkins