Mytilini is not a town. It's a city. But it is an amazing little city full of life and surprises and if you are someone with a long history in Greece it may actually remind you of Athens or Pireaus in the fifties. Like other great cities Mytilini is built upon seven hills and is full of history. Mytilini is in fact one of the most culturally enlightened city in Greece perhaps due to its proximity to the coast of Asia Minor where the ancient Greeks flourished until 1922 when they were forcefully evicted by the Turks. Many of these Greeks had property in Mytilini and many Mytilinians had businesses in Asia Minor. For this reason the museums are full of interesting remnants of the last three thousand years of history and the town itself contains monuments, houses, churches, schools and other buildings from the various historical periods. But it is the Mytilini of today that holds the most interest for many because it is a small and managable city full of great restaurants, cafes, nightlife and friendly, intelligent people. When you arrive by boat at 7 in the morning it is quiet. The city spreads from the large harbor up into the hills behind it and is crowned by an enormous castle whose foundations were laid during the time of Justinian on the ruins of an even more ancient fortification. This castle is surrounded by a pine forest that reaches down to the shore and the public beach. In the summertime the castle is used for performances of traveling groups of musicians, theater, opera and music and art festivals. In fact it is one of the best places to hear a concert in Greece. The castle is well worth a trip and a walk around the promontory will give you a whole new perspctive of the city because it is like being out in the wilderness with horses and donkeys grazing on the hills that lead up to the fort. If you continue to the back side of the city you will come to the old bordellos and the old harbor. The waterfront comes alive with traffic by 8 and stays that way until just after 1 pm when the stores close and everyone goes home for lunch and siesta. By early evening the city is alive again with activity. This is not your typical quiet Greek island village but it is certainly a very entertaining place. The main street is lined with cafes that seem to be full year round. For the rest of the island Mytilini is the big city. Smaller villages send their children here for high-school. People come from all over the island to do their shopping since there are super-markets in the true sense of the word, with aisle after aisle of products, imported and domestic. There are cultural activities, concerts of all styles of music, basketball tournaments, an indoor swimming pool and of course the city is the center of island Government, not only for Lesvos but for Lemnos too. The marketplace is one of the most active in Greece with shops of every variety and closed to automobile traffic while the stores are open. There is ample evidence of the plentiful fish in Lesvos waters and prices are low. When I arrive by ferry in the early morning I usually spend an hour or so wandering around, checking out the fish and buying sardeles pastes or pastrama (dried spiced beef-like pastrami) to bring as gifts to my friend Tryphon to serve with ouzo in his cafeneon on the far side of the island. It is hard to imagine a more interesting way to spend a morning and the shops contain a variety of items that you won't find anywhere else and to me are more entertaining than a museum. If you require stong coffee to get you going to the small traditional looking cafe right across the street from the yogurt shop (that has the best yogurt in the world). It is called the Musico Cafeneon and it is on the corner of Komninaki street. if you are just getting off the boat it is a great place to gather your thoughts and drink an espresso or two. The owner is a woman named Martina and she or one of her staff can answer any questions you have upon arrival. If you are staying in the city, day or night it is a great place to hang out.