Karpathos: between sea and wind

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Quotes the dictionary “resilience” is the ability of a material to absorb a shock without breaking.

ately, my heart has taken a big hit, and yet, despite being on the verge of breaking, has found the ability to resist. He found a small glimmer of hope able to make it beat again.

“Do something that makes you feel good”, I repeated, and this very delicate heart of mine gave me the answer: “Take your suitcase and go.”

Is born so the trip to Karpathos. It was born by chance, but it was already written in destiny because on that Greek island, situated south of the Aegean sea between Crete and Rhodes, I found a part of me that I thought forgotten and a new friend.

«I would like to go to an island that nobody knows» “Karpathos, also known as Scarpanto, what a funny name, but look, it’s only two hours from Venice and you get direct with the low-cost flights of Volotea. What do you say?” «Let’s go»

I spent two hours and twenty minutes flying admiring distant lands embraced by a blue sea. I spent two hours and twenty minutes of flight listening to my heart: he was impatient to land, sad for what he left in Italy, but hopeful of finding some peace.

Then suddenly the island appeared. “Flight attendants getting ready for landing,” the aircraft commander’s voice sent in a metallic tone, while in the window appeared a picture where the ocher of the mountains, high and wild, stood out against the thousand shades of blue of the Aegean Sea.

“Kalimera Miss, welcome to Karpathos, get on my taxi.” Twenty minutes after traveling along a road that skirted the beaches, climbed the mountains and then gently descended towards a new bay, it appeared Pigadia, the main city of the island. A small maritime center today purely devoted to welcoming tourists with a single street full of souvenir shops and restaurants.

“What do you think, we’re going to the beach?” “I cannot wait” It took only ten minutes to walk along the quay of the port to get to the large city beach where there is also a holiday village full of Italians.

“Hello sea ​​I missed you” was my first thought before diving into the crystal clear water while the sun, setting, colored the bay of pink and orange.

The second day began with the good intentions: “We rent a car to visit the beaches.” “Ok, from the maps the nearest one is Amoopi.”

Taking a Hunday I10 that barely climbed the steep hills of Pigadia, in 10 minutes, the horizon opened to one of the most beautiful bays I had ever seen. The water faded from blue to turquoise darkened only by the shadow of small fishing boats moored after a night of work. At the top of the cliff a small church, white and with blue finishes, watched over the sailors and the swimmers.

Let’s look for a place» «An umbrella and two beds cost 8 euros for the whole day» «I would say that I can live here» I replied to the lifeguard.

At last the delicate heart had found its corner of peace and in that clear water I started to swim again and to experience that feeling of absolute freedom that only swimming in the open sea can give, while an armful after an armful, what you hear in silence of the abyss is only the rhythm of your heart that becomes one with the breath. And it is immediately happiness.

The following days were spent discovering new dream beaches: if Amoopi was my favorite on the east coast with Apella and Kyra Panagia, on the west side of the island I loved the beach of Finiki near the village of Arkasa, but especially the one of Lefkos.

Karpathos has the advantage of being a wild island. It has a harsh and beautiful nature, lashing by the wind Meltemi that suddenly came, with its scent of maritime pines, to ruffle my hair. The more I tried to fix them, the more he lashed. “Damn you, wind” I said, but in the end, it won every time, and I remained wonderfully uncombed.

In its hinterland, Karpathos hides villages with ancient rites, where life flows slowly, punctuated by the tolling of the bells of the Orthodox churches. Places where time has stopped at the time of the shepherds who were fleeing from the coasts to the mountains to survive the pirate attacks. Places where you can breathe a story that has its roots in the Doric era. Places like the village of Olympos.

Getting there was not easy: from the port of Pigadia, I paid 25 euros for a boat trip that took me to the north-east coast of the island where is the nearest port to the country. From there I took a rickety bus that arrived at the destination in 20 minutes of uphill road leaving me a fair sense of nausea, in addition to the fear of dying rolling down the mountain.

Olympos is enchantingly decadent. Most of the houses are uninhabited or rented to tourists because the local population lives near the sea. There are only a few brave inhabitants who welcome visitors with traditional clothes and try to sell anything.

They are proud, but a little ‘closed and the comparison has arisen spontaneously: in reality, the Greeks, like my heart, are resilient. Despite the crisis and mass tourism, they are proud not only of their origins, remembered in national colors, white and blue of the houses and churches but also of their way of being. Despite the blows of fate they were able to resist: they remember the past, they survive the present and look with confidence to the future.

«My heart, learn this beautiful lesson and be resilient».

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