A journey with the little fruitarian runner on board. Day seven: Chora and the beach

After yesterday’s adventure we are feeling tired and sleep more in the morning. Our desire to leave the house is insignificant, but since we still haven’t done all we set out to do, we eventually convince ourselves to get into the car and then do some more walking.

It’s a very hot day and our first stop is at the bakery. Being hungry, we buy more than what we strictly need and then, after having our usual morning ice-cream by the lavender bushes in the garden of the bakery, we head to Chora, the capital of the island, a high village up on a slope, built amfitheatrically and resembling a citadel, with its extremely narrow, steep streets and small, tiled roofed houses, with wooden blinds and dozens of colorful flowers.

We walk around and visit a shop where I get a nice pyrite pendant and then we pay a visit to the folkloric museum, which is really interesting to see, especially upstairs, where you can spend time inside a traditional Samothrakiam home and read about the different functions of the home areas, feel the texture of handwoven silk fabric and wonder at the Turkish influence in Greek traditional culture and at both the Turkish and the Greek influence in the Romanian culture.

Walking along one of the narrow streets, we stop at the end of this very tight and steep staircase lined with huge begonia clay pots and are approached by this old man speaking Greek to us. He disappears after manages to direct us upstairs to this 1300s tiny dark stone church and, as soon as we enter, I feel I can’t breathe for a few seconds. It feel like a lot of anxiety and sadness has been experienced there by people desperately seeking refuge. We spend a few minutes in the cool air of the tiny church and then we are back outside, in the scorching heat.

We also visit the ruins of the local castle, built in the 1400s as part of the defense system of the island. The view of the sea from among the ruins is very nice and walking on the iron net above the water cistern feels interesting, too. Over the years it fell pray to several conquerors and at the beginning of the 21st century it actually housed the headquarters of the local police, but the building was eventually taken down so that now the castle has historical and touristic value to the island.

A bit later, after we get some fruit (of course, you know for who) and cold water, we head south and crash on Lakkoma beach, under a bamboo umbrella, enjoying the soft breeze and the small waves licking the hot pebbles on the shore. We read and write, take naps and relax.

It is here that, for the first time, I read out loud a story to my boys: “The Fork-Tongued Princess” from “Tales of the Peculiar” by Ransom Riggs – the book I got from the English bookshop in Uppsala, Sweden, this winter, a month and a half before the little fruitarian runner came into our lives. He shows his gratitude through repeated kicks that start his father and me giggling.


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