Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | September 20, 2012

Ode to a Grecian Turn: Day Six

Walking along the sea side in Methana, Greece.

Well, it was another beautiful day in Greece, though a storm may be brewing.  A storm in the real sense, not the metaphorical sense. The wind has a little more cold in it, which I find welcome, and the air is more humid.  I hope it does storm a little; I love the crackle of anticipation the air gets right before, and the reckless way the waves crash on the shore.  Storms are also easy to appreciate when you are safe in a house.

Today started off with writing, as I got my “morning pages” out of the way before I’d even had my coffee.  My plan was to eat breakfast and read, then write for a while, but I’d mentioned to Mariel that I wanted to go get postcards and, since she was going into Methana, that’s where I ended up going.  I tagged along while she did a bit of shopping, including buying vegetables out of the back of a truck.  It was all very neat.

In an abandoned village in ruins still stands the Chapel of Saint Sofia, where the Sofias can still go and light a candle on their name day.

I picked up some postcards in a fishing shop, which seems incongruous and probably is incongruous.  Or maybe it makes sense to the Greeks.  I then wandered a bit on the shore before meeting Mariel in a little cafe where I could drink another Fredoccino and use the Wifi to check my email.  Then we went back for lunch, which included a spinach pie (spanikopita) as well as a cheese pie (no idea what the greek name was), some greek salad, some bread and some tsaziki.  Everything is so delicious here!

After lunch, I invoked some store of discipline and managed to write rather than go for a swim or a lay in the sun.  This was, in part, because around four thirty we all went on an excursion. We drove all the way around the island. We stopped in some little villages and walked through where olive trees grow.  We went to a little abandoned village, the only building that was maintained a small chapel dedicated to Saint Sofia.  There are paintings in the chapel, some probably quite old, and yet no one steals the relics.  I find that very comforting.

We explored the ruins a little, then piled back into the car. We drove to the foot of the volcano, and then the four of us writers were left to follow the path up the volcano while Philip and Mariel stayed behind because they felt it would be more of an experience for us if we went on our own. One of us had bad knees and only went up halfway before she decided she’d better go down while she could.  The climb was a bit hard for me, too. I’m not as fit as I’d like, for one, and I also find the weather a bit of a challenge, even in the late afternoon.

I have stared into the face of the volcano. Unlike in Hawaii, this one is dormant so much easier to do!

Still, I climbed the volcano in what must have been nearly thirty degree weather, and I made it all the way to the top to peer in.  Of course, unlike when I was in Hawaii, this one wasn’t active, but it was still very cool. I did have a little trouble getting down from where I’d perched (I didn’t think things through and the rocks looked far more unstable and a long way away from my legs when I was going down instead of up), but I managed in the end.  Then we hiked back down.  It was a bit easier to go at a clip, but still a bit slippery and steep, so we took care.

After that, we drove to a little town called Vathi where we went to a Tavernas.  Eating in a tavernas is much better as a group, as you are meant to order a few dishes and share. We had some incredible appetizers, including a traditional Greek salad, a spiced feta cheese to spread on bread, kalamari, anchovies, stuffed pepper, and a mussel croquette.  Everything was delicious.  Next it was tuna steak with lightly fried slices of potato.  Finally there was dessert, a pastry that had cinnamon and sugar and that I think was sweetened with apple juice.  All incredible. We had wine with dinner, too, and yet the bill was incredibly reasonable.  Cheap, even.  I’d never eat what I did in Canada and drink wine, all for fourteen euros, including tip.

Dinner was late, as per Greek custom, so after that we drove back to Limnisa, I think about thirty or forty minutes away, though the time seemed to pass quickly so it could have been longer or shorter.  Now I’m sitting in my room, finishing this off so I can go to bed.  Tomorrow will be another quiet day. I hope to get more writing in, and a swim.  And to do laundry.  I can’t wait to have a pair of capris that are freshly laundered. Until tomorrow!

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