May 05, 2014

At Serifos, May 5

It's an early Monday morning and the village is waking up.  A regular school day for the local children. One boat came in yesterday and took half the visitors away.  Today another ferry will take the others.  No other boats then until the coming Friday.  Many restaurants and hotels will not open until June.  It's quiet and nice.
Livadakia Beach looking toward
the Island of Ermoupoli
Yesterday I found the beach I'll frequent.  It's a walk over a hill and down a staircase.  When I arrived it was unoccupied.  Later, four people from Brittany were swimming in what they thought was very warm water.  To the touch, it's not very cold.  I haven't been swimming yet, but I'll surely venture in soon when the temperatures climb above 65 which has been typical.  Today's high will be 64.

Livadakia Beach
Manana spirit dominates here.  Yesterday I bought a scarf wrap in a shop because it's chilly at night.  There's a heater in my house, but I like to live without having to turn it on all the time.  Anyway, the shop keeper didn't have enough coin change for me so she said, oh bring it by whenever you a few days...whenever.  I've found the Greeks to be very trusting which is very different from what you read in guide books.  According to the Greeks, it isn't the Greeks who are creating this reputation, it's non-Greeks.  I'm inclined to agree.

The images from the classical antiquities remain deep in my thought and in the evening I'm studying Ancient Greek history from Yale lectures on iTunesU.  Serifos, in ancient times, was where people from the mainland were exiled and it remains a bit of a backwater place for people who want to be without pretension.  Tourism is just beginning here and I'm glad to see it before the hoards come.  The barren hills must have been a fearsome thing if the hills were indeed barren in those times.  I wonder what you would eat although there are plenty of springs for water.  You could certainly fish.  I don't know how it became treeless.  On the north shore there are many goat and sheep farms and perhaps these animals ate out the roots of the vegetation and the exiled peoples cut down the trees for habitats.  It's very similar to Scotland—a stark and awesome beauty.  I'll ask Leonardo, the agent, who will take me to lunch on Tuesday to Platis Gialos on the eastern shore.  There are taverns and cafes in these little towns at the trailheads to the hideaway beaches only accessible on foot.