A boat story

There is something particularly charming about the Greek public transport by sea. The long journey on a boat, making stops at different islands before reaching your final destination, always brings surprises and interesting travel companions. It’s the same as with a train, where you are not limited to your seat. On the boat you are free to walk around and start conversations with other passengers. 

Today we talk about our favourite ferry line that connects the Dodecanese Islands with Rhodes as a starting point. Landing is just the beginning of the journey. The real journey begins at Kolona port, which is the point of departure of the Dodekanisos Seaways boats. 

At eight in the morning the port is full of colours and passengers. The morning sun is shining on the walls of the old town of the knights of St. John and the sea that serves as a reflection is blue and flat like it can only be at a Greek harbour early in the morning. All the vessels are lit up in blue and and orange as if they are calling you to come closer. And we remember how fun it is to travel this route, starting off at Rhodes, through Symi, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Leipsoi, Patmos, and during the summer even through Samos, where you turn around and head back the same way…

Because of the geography of this part of the eastern Mediterranean, you can meet all sorts of people there - Germans, eating wurst for breakfast, off on a walk; Turkish families, arriving from nearby Marmaris and Bodrum; Greeks headed to a wedding with freshly caught tuna fish; a priest headed to work, getting all the respect; Americans beginning to climb Kalymnos, worshipers headed to Patmos and the cave of St. John; confused customers of the all-inclusive, headed to the nearby island of Simi… and all other kinds of travellers. 

An image of the life and the people, that have decided to search for something different. 

This is a key line for us, because this is how we reach our favourite spots in Greece, in a way that brings us great pleasure, and is a part of the whole adventure. On these boats the colours, the noise, the screams, and the meeting of different mentalities, people, and animals is a fact. In the meantime, everyday life runs smoothly. 

We are all wondering when and where the Greek family with the dowry will show up, or if they would deport the Turks on Kos; how many more wursts the Germans can pull out; are the dogs traveling with us okay…the worshipers on they way to Patmos - are they okay…This is the kind of questions one asks themselves on this journey. 

On each of these boats there is a small open deck, and the speed is over 20 knots, so quite fast. When the weather is good we all want to be there - the scared tourists, and the locals. Some with a coffee, some with something else. And the wind is blowing the ears of the dogs, but they are also quite happy in their place. With each approaching harbour an organized flurry commences. Those who are getting off the boat are rushing for their luggage, and the ones staying are rushing to the decks to take yet another scenic picture, since every harbour is an unforgettable view. 

The luggage compartments at the entrance are marked by island. If you’re headed to Patmos you leave your luggage in the cell labeled “Patmos”. Upon arrival the crew has taken out all bags and has organized them on the back deck, where everyone needs to quickly find their luggage and get off. After that the new passengers need to get on just as fast, and place their luggage in the designated area, with the boat impatiently separating from the pier, on its way to the next island. And at the coffee shop the line never ends…

Every visit to Kolona port on Rhodes brings excitement, because you don’t know what lays ahead. 

Today we revisit those trips through places and islands with great pleasure. Without any glamour or pretences life keeps going with music by Kostis Maraveyas from his album „Κατάστρωμα“ (Deck) about a boat story. 


January 2020
Photo ©МА