I woke up this morning with a burning desire to go for a long walk. A proper walk, not in my rubbish-strewn, pavement-less neighbourhood with the colourful buildings (eye-sores), but through the olive-groves, up the cobbled path that leads from Asomatos to Agiasos. So many different hues of green on that walk! I threw the photo on the floor and jumped onto it, in the hope that Mary Poppins’ trick might work. Alas! Mary has long flown away and I still found myself in Neo Psychico, Lesvos many many sea miles away.
We would walk up the steep path to the village of Agiasos, light a candle at the lovely church of the Virgin Mary (Panagia Agiasou), have one (ouzo) for the road at the cafe just opposite the church (plus cheese, olives, tomato) and then walk on up to the old Sanatorium, where the silver green of the olive groves is replaced by the brighter green of the chestnut trees. Then, miraculously, a car would appear to drive us down and around the mountain via Kammeno Chorio (Neochori) to Achladeri. Lunch by the sea; a feast of bright green fava (made from peas rather than fava beans), sardines and “ktsa” (broadbeans) washed down by ouzo.
Off we’d go again, this time through Aghia Paraskevi and the little-used back roads that take you to the other side of the island, our eyes on the impressive mass of Mt. Lepetymnos soon to be painted in the colours of an awesome spring sunset. To those in the know, the sun sets differently into the Aegean on the western coast of the island, and rises uniquely on the eastern coast, out of the mountains of Turkey. Someone just has to show you how to watch.
Photos courtesy of my friend George Pavlioglou; George, I owe you lunch in Achladeri.