Our group has diminished in size for the last spectacular part of this tour. The next part is an extension to our original tour and we are travelling to Lemnos with the main aim to support the work done, under extreme hardship, by the nurses who were to staff the many hospitals set up to treat the wounded who came from the Gallipoli front. Also, at the 2 main cemeteries, East Mudrus and Portianos, we intended to conduct Services to remember those who103 years ago paid the supreme sacrifice and are still there but should never be forgotten.
We actually left Athens at 2100 on ANZAC Day and arrived onto Lemnos at 2200 and were immediately taken to our hotel, Varos Village Hotel. This hotel is on a hill above the Varos Village and incorporates some of the villages windmills incorporating traditional Lemnian charm and also some accommodation is located in renovated mansions within the village itself. Dinner was waiting for us and it was delicious but we did not get to bed till after midnight. An early wakeup next morning after our late night was not appreciated but, it was lovely hearing the village Roosters crowing away and the chooks chatting. As we were on the top of the hill right above the village, all noise there came straight up to us. A great start to our days here on Lemnos.
Following breakfast we boarded our small coach with our new guide, Petra and she took us to view the oldest archaeological site on the island and who knows, it could be the oldest in Greece. The prehistoric site at Poliochne was the most fortified settlement on the island and according to data was founded from the 4th to the 3rd millennium BC but around 2100BC it seems to have been abandoned. Poliochne is believed to be the oldest site in the Aegean area. There has been much work done excavating the site over the years which began in 1930 and conducted then by the Italian Archaeological School in Athens. There was still much work being done as we walked carefully through the site.
Before moving on to the East Mudrus Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery we were taken on a drive throughout the island to familiarise ourselves. We visited various sites around the Mudros Harbour and particularly the location of Australia Pier. Arriving at the East Mudrus War Cemetery we were pleased that it has been looked after well by the staff of the CWGC and looked a picture. We conducted our Service and Petra found it quite moving.
Lunch followed after we drove around to the other side of the harbour and visited the capital of the island, Myrina. But before lunch, we walked through the quaint shopping centre with its narrow streets and small shops. We then had lunch right on the edge of the beautifully clear water overlooking Kaspakas Bay with its Venetian Castle perched above us on the former Acropolis. A great lunch was had by all and it consisted of many traditional Greek dishes that left us full but happy.
Lunch finished late as we had being going since 0930 and had decided on a late relaxing lunch, which we had. Therefore we returned to our hotel for a rest before venturing out to walk through our village and have a beer at the little café in the village square. A very busy day, but a very successful one for us all.