Burton Dane Travels

We're traveling through Europe and parts nearby for a year. We'll be posting our pix and adventures here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


We came to Milos hoping for a beautiful island shared with fewer tourists. It’s here. So are extraordinary beaches, sulphur hot springs and great geology.

The island was created by volcanic action and the extinct caldera forms a bay that must be 10 km across. It left behind pumice, volcanic flows and minerals, easily visible since the vegetation is sparse. Jules is covering the horizontal surfaces of our flat with colorful rock samples.

One of the stand out beaches is Paleohori. We were drawn to it by the beautiful red and yellow cliffs and its long stretch of sand. We parked by a taverna who’s sign read “Volcanic Food”. Oh good, I like spicy food.

When we hit the beach there was a closed metal box on the sand that we took for a solar oven. Our barefoot stroll across the sand turned into a hot foot run. After great swimming and more foot burning, we finally realized that the beach’s heat was not coming from the sun but was rising up from the earth. It got hotter the deeper we dug in the sand. We couldn’t even get down a foot before it burned our hands.

The volcanic food wasn’t spicy, it was cooked by geothermal heat in the metal box! To control the temperature they just shoveled the sand around. There must be ancient explanations for this phenomenon involving angry gods and underground monsters. And there’s no need to look for clues of fiction in this blog. It’s really true.

The same monsters (or whatever the cause) are releasing heated, sulphur rich water in the surf. These show as yellow-orange patches on the seabed. The water is nicely warmed around these spots. There aren’t bubbles, just warm water.

Another surreal sight during our visit has been the submarine that appeared and has been floating in the bay. We’ve been assured that the island has not been reclaimed by the Turks. Too bad, I found a Turkish lira stash in my backpack was hoping to spend it.

Milos is the Milo in the Louvre’s “Venus de Milo”. There it’s promoted as one of the top three pieces to see (along with The Nike and The Mona Lisa). A farmer found it here in the 1820’s, complete with arms. Seems the French ambassador to Istanbul (or Constantinople as it’s known here) took a liking to it and forced it to be “sold”. The French King gifted it to the Louvre. The arms seemed to have been lost in transit to France.

The Greeks have been trying to reclaim it to no avail. Instead, the French made a replica for them from the original. It’s here in the Archaeological museum. It’s known as the “Venus de Mea Culpa”.

The focus on our camera is on its last legs. Many of our pictures are coming out blurry. We should be in Athens this weekend and I expect to get a new one. Then it’s on to Lesvos (we think).


  • At 10:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The place looks really great. Be careful, my sources (ok, Jacob and Dove) tell me the submarine is actually full of pirates. Evidentaly, they still patrol the Greek Isles. I checked out a website about Lesvos and that places looks pretty idylic also. Wish we were there.


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