Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Day Five: Driving in Circles

Just when we think we are getting to know the island, we find that we are no better at following Greek road signs than we were on the first day! We were so hoping to find the back side of Mount Zeus, as it is supposed to be a great hike with fabulous views, but in spite of repeated attempts to find it, circling around and going back and forth around the area that we thought the map told us, we just could not find it.

However, we did find another beautiful beach, and this time, there was a sign to tell us where we were! The road to this beach zig zagged through the mountains, on a narrow road with no shoulders and hair pin turns. Every time a big truck or bus came toward us, we pulled over to the edge as close as we could get and stopped so that the truck could get by. It’s a good thing, because they all tend to drive well into the oncoming lane, and given their size, they would definitely win in a game of chicken! Over the cliff would be no way to end our holiday!


Moutsouna Bay

Jordan is quite impressed with my driving, as we have ended up a few lanes that suddenly narrow to the point that it is obvious that they were not meant for cars. Backing out of these tight places is quite a challenge, especially when a steep hill is involved!
We have passed some interesting looking characters, and fortunately a few let us take their pictures. Here is one of a man who was just walking down the road in the middle of nowhere, no houses for miles around.

 We stopped to ask another old lady if we could take her picture, and she shook her head “no”, but asked if we would give her a ride. I NEVER pick up strangers, but what the heck, this is an island, and it really does feel like everyone is family here. I took her down the road a few miles, and let her out. Thinking that she would let me take her picture now, I asked again, and she still shook her head “no.” Oh well, it was still nice to do a good turn, but I really did want her picture! (sigh)

After much wandering around in the mountains, we finally found a Kouros, which is a stone statue that is lying down in the forest. It is thought that these statues originally were upright, but fell over when they were being moved. It looks like the Kouros is made all of one gigantic piece of stone, so it must have been a real accomplishment to carve!

We also passed by a marble quarry, very beautiful! There is marble everywhere here, it seems so amazing that something that is so valuable is so easily obtainable here!

At the end of our drive, we went to the end of the road near our hotel to see a resort that was halfway built before all the locals here put an end to it. This is a huge piece of property, overlooking a beautiful beach, with many sprawling buildings, and every room opening out onto the ocean. The problem is, that someone forged a document telling the developer that they had the deed to the property. At the time, the government here was a dictatorship, so the locals couldn't do anything to stop the illegal building on what was supposed to be protected land. Once the government changed, the locals were successful in putting a stop to the project, and now it sits abandoned. Very sad all the way around, it is now a blight on the landscape, and I can't help but feel sorry for the poor people who much have wasted millions building something that is now just waiting to be torn down.

We are off to Santorini tomorrow. Jordan has been anxiously awaiting this part of the trip ever since we planned to come to Greece. Hopefully the weather will be good so that we can sit out on the deck and get a tan!

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