Monday, October 28, 2013
Our 3 weeks in Skopelos unravelled slowly. We relaxed so much that I got out of the habit of blogging and didn’t write anything for an entire month…and I have finally sat down to recount those stories…
Most of our time in Skopelos was spent in a local Taverna. We got to know the chaps who ran it and they let us spend lazy afternoons working on our laptops and reading our kindles while we sipped frappes and ate kebabs. The blue ocean lapped lazily in front of us and our Greek Island getaway turned out even better than I had imagined it would.
Being out of season meant we got a taste of real island life. Many of the local men seemed to frequent the tavernas to smoke or play board games. The women were busy at home, cooking lunch or washing down the paved streets in front of their houses. We got to know a few of the locals as we walked back and forth from our studio at the top of the hill. They would often give us a sprig of basil or some chestnuts or call us in for a drink. Occasionally we would buy the fresh seafood from the fishing boats down at the port and cook it fresh for lunch. It was a wonderful community and I loved being part of it for a short time.
Occasionally we would catch a bus to another part of the island, which is how we ended up discovering Glossa. Glossa was the place where much of the movie Mama Mia was set. While we were not able to make our way to the tourist drawcards from the movie, we had a great day in this village. After an enjoyable lunch at a café with a stunning view of the ocean, we decided to discover the town. It was while walking up and down the cobbled stone streets, that we met Dmitri. He was tending to his donkeys so I stopped to take a few photos and we started chatting. One thing led to another and we were soon invited to his house where we met his wife over drinks and preserved plums, a traditional Greek sweat from Skopelos.
It was amazing to hear the stories from Dmitri’s life. He had travelled the world while working on Greek shipping vessels. From Cairo to Colombo, Rwanda to Cape Town he had travelled for long periods sometimes only coming home after a few years at sea! When I asked what that was like, he replies, “it was just a job!” However, he was really excited to learn I had grown up in Colombo as he had wonderful memories of going ashore on numerous occasions. Of course it would have been a different world back then.
The weather during our stay varied from wonderful sun kissed days to gale force winds and rain. I think we had more sunny days than not and count ourselves lucky because we are here out of season and the weather in October is unpredictable. On one of those good days, we caught the bus to Panormas. It was a much quieter village with a beautiful deserted beach. We stretched lazily on the deck chairs and enjoyed the sun, the sea and the sand and Steve braved the cold waters for a dip.
After spending 3 weeks in this beautiful Greek Island, we finally said goodbye to whitewashed cottages, friendly smiles and chats over fences, the many strangers who be-friended us, stunning sunsets and waking up on many days to a gorgeous sunrise, the blue green ocean and the fisherman by the port.
What a treat to buy the day's catch and cook it for lunch! We also say goodbye to the chaps at the International Cafe who prepared beautiful frappes and the wonderful family that were our hosts! 3 Generations of Greek women who entertained us with their stories and the sounds of their play. We will miss you Skopelos!