I have no photos of Plaka as seen from a distance because we only got glimpses of it from the bus. It nestles on the foot of a hill with a Venetian castle dating from the 13th century and a church perched on top. It is beautiful.
All I have is this photograph I took when we were visiting the catacombs, but it's not very satisfactory, but it will have to do.
Plaka is the capital of Milos and it's built in the traditional Cycladic style: narrow, cobbled alleyways that originally protected from pirate invasion; whitewashed houses with (mainly) blue windows and doors. Today it's full of interesting shops, cafeterias and restaurants and it's wonderful to stroll around the town.
The bus took us to one of the squares and then we walked up this long cobbled avenue that leads to the centre of the town - thankfully no cars are allowed here as the streets are very narrow.
This magnificent old building was on our right, ready for renovation - it would make such a magnificent public building or even a residence.
As all over Greece, a lot of old houses are to be found that are turning into ruins either because the owners cannot afford to renovate them, or because too many inheritors cannot agree on what to do with the building.
We soon reached the shops
had to climb quite a few steps
the tavernas were getting ready for customers.
I liked this house
one of the many churches
and the lights were starting to come on.
We did not stop to look at any of the shops. We were in a hurry because we wanted to see the sunset from the terrace of
Utopia, a café/bar, tucked away in a small side street
that has the best views of the Gulf of Milos.
People come here to look at the sunset
it was stunning.
The only thing I can compare it to is watching the sun setting over the caldera in Santorini.
This bar is lovely:
it's beautifully decorated, with a piano inside, prints by Joan Miro and Escher, and great attention to detail.
The terrace is small and all the tables in the front row were taken, but a table became free soon after we arrived and we were able to appreciate the views of the gulf and the mountains in the distance, without any interruptions.
The red in the sky intensified
and then mist descended on the mountains in the distance
later there was the most amazing thunderstorm - my small, portable camera could not capture that, but it lasted a long time and we were awed.
We reluctantly left Utopia because we were aware that we had to explore the town before catching the last bus at 11:00.
Lovely fruit on this pomegranate tree
The town was teeming with life, particularly diners who were able to sit on the side of the cobbled streets and not only eat, but also soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant town.
Most alleyways in the centre were taken up with taverna tables
We slowly drifted away from the centre, the streets got darker, and we were able to appreciate the architecture - lovely, quirky staircases
here's another one
The church was open so we went inside
the lone priest sitting in contemplation said it was o.k. to take photographs
the ceiling of one of the side chapels.
We left the church and started exploring the square
detail of the floor
The folk museum is here too
some of these alleyways are very narrow indeed
built this way to protect from the sun
I have a penchant for round houses, so I had to photograph this one
more steps, illuminated by the moon
bougainvillea provides some colour
and steps leading up to the front doors of the houses, everywhere
a cat sitting on the steps
a lot of the streets are cobbled
as we veered back towards the centre
we started looking at some of the shops.
In one of the shops, the Venus of Milos
with lots more inside
a wonderful door
We soon came across Diporto (the one with two doors),
one of the local tavernas
walked along, turned right and right again
and arrived at the second entrance of the restaurant on the street parallel to the first one.
This is Archondoula, the most popular taverna in the town, a place where we sat quite a few times a few years ago when we first visited the island
I remember how difficult it was to get a table, and how sometimes we would have to wait for quite a while
It was busy this time, but there were a few free tables.
It was time for us to catch our bus, we walked down the hill and saw that in one of the squares the locals were having some kind of celebration.