As I sit here in the wifi bar I am struggling to settle on a blogpost for ye. Time is short and the charge on this device is poor. Having one foot in the global melting pot of the internet and another in the sleepy seaside village world is something I could live with indefinitely though, wifi or not! I’ve settled on sharing some of the crumbling beauty of this mountain village.
After a steep hike on a number of trails and mule paths you reach the first layer of mountain villages. At first you would assume this is a totally deserted place but these crumbling, shuttered homes are occupied, mainly by older people. Just like in Ireland there is very little to keep a Greek young person here. Just surviving up in the mountains is a daily challenge.
There was an article in the local tourism magazine about a family from Ireland who moved here last year. Their two younger children allowed the local school of 8 pupils to stay open for another year. Locals came out into the street to greet them when they arrived with all their belongings. This is a rare occurrence as most buyers are looking for holiday retreats.
Through the wonderful silence there is palpable uncertainty. The parallels with Ireland, are never far from our thoughts. How easy it is to stand in awe of the beauty of rotting timber and peeled back layers of history on these walls. I remember a farmer saying to me that the tourists come to Ireland to admire the scenery, but the people who live off that land can’t eat the lovely views. It’s a complicated business being a tourist isn’t it?
Meanwhile my breakfast here under the shelter of a flowering vine is coming to an end. Tiny star shaped blossoms drop onto the keyboard. Tomorrow we travel even further west and delve deeper into the ancient world.