May 22, 2014

The Mood to Climb

The top of the Hora

I thought I had outgrown the need to climb to the top of things, but apparently not.  Where there’s a staircase, it begs to be climbed.  Don’t ask what prompted me to dash down to the bus for the afternoon run to the Hora, the town at the top of the mountain overlooking Livadi.  Wind was howling with gusts at 35-40 mph.  Perhaps I wanted to know what it was like up there on a day when the wind was at its full power.  But then, it’s a thing about moods.  If you can’t or won’t respond to the moods, then you don’t get to play with the Greek gods.  Something moved me and off I went.

Old Windmills near the top
There were three things I wanted to do.  One was to climb to the very top.  The second was to go to the Archeological Center and the third was to eat souvlaki at The Blue Dream, recommended by a few locals as the best souvlaki in Serifos.  The Archeological Center was closed.  That’s all, just closed.  I can telephone tomorrow to find out when it might be open, but it is pre-season so perhaps they are taking a rest.  So, I went on to the climb which I thought might earn me an appetite for the souvlaki later on.

Towers are found throughout
the island, but several are seen on top
no doubt used to guard the island
from marauders.
A typical staircase street
It’s hard to describe the Hora.  It has narrow staircases that wind up the mountain with homes that form narrow corridors that feed through passageways to the top.  You can touch the walls on either side as you pass the doorways into private areas of the dwellers on this mountain.  I was alone the whole time and passed no one and saw no one.  It seemed a ghost town of sorts and only one time I heard some kitchen sounds from an open window.  As I got higher and higher the silence became deeper and the view more awesome.  Oddly, although there were times when I was nearly pushed over by the wind, when I got to the top, I didn’t feel it so much.  Perhaps because it’s protected by the church at the very top and I was standing behind the wall.  I don’t know.  It was all so mythic and mysterious.

Rock piles and ruins are everywhere.  In an enlargement
you can see the island of Sifnos through the window.
I felt an urge to spend time up there, but I’d have been better to have gotten an earlier bus, planned to stay on top and sit up there and write and then catch the late afternoon bus back.  Walking down is the hard part.  That’s where my knees could give out so although I’d be glad to climb up, I’d prefer to ride the bus down.  The Canadians warned me against the climb down all the way to the port although that’s what most people do thinking that it’s easy.  So, I made my way to the Blue Dream which took some doing against the wind.  I had certainly earned my meal.  Argghhh.  No go.  They only serve souvlaki on Friday and Sunday.  Argggh.  So I had a lemonade and rode the bus home.

Selfie at the top!
So what happened that was tucked inside the call to follow the mood?  What was the payoff of all this? What happened is that I got an idea!!!!!  I got it on the bus while I was riding up.  Something hit me.  I’d been waiting for an idea for weeks now, some inspiration to follow in writing.  I’d been saying, “Hermes, you messenger of inspiration and ideas, where are you?”  Of course I cannot say what this idea is because it must sink in and take root, and who knows if it will play out, but by the time I got back home I had about six more ideas.  I’ve jotted them all down so they’ve not been lost.

Ah, life is good, the moods are afoot.  The wall is getting painted.  The winds are beginning to quiet down and they’ll be very soft over the weekend and good for swimming as the weather begins to warm up just about when I’ll be packing for the trip back home.