A few weeks ago my husband and I were back on the island of Kythira, Greece, after a seven-year hiatus to celebrate a milestone reunion with my husband’s life-long friends from Athens. Over the years, we’ve visited Kythira with these friends many times and love this quiet, out-of-the-way island.
One afternoon when our friends were napping, as most Greeks do on a hot summer afternoon, we went on a quest to relive a memory from a past trip to Kythira. Some years ago, we took what looked like a harmless shortcut through a crumbling village. Little did we know our innocent decision would end up so memorable.
One small detail, as we set off on our quest we couldn’t remember the name of the village, so we spent the afternoon village hopping until we finally found it, the village of Aloizianika. The photos in this post are from our recent trip to the village.
On a summer day years ago, we took a shortcut that looked quite innocent on a tourist map of the island. Before long we came upon what looked like a forgotten village. Old stone houses next to the road were so close to the car we could touch them out of the car window. My husband stopped the car, reluctant to move forward.
As we stared down the narrow lane considering our options, a kind resident came out of his home and inquired if we needed help. My husband asked (in Greek) if he thought our car would make it through the village. He sized up our car and gave us the nod to move forward. Trusting him, we did.
Holding our breath, we inched forward. Minutes felt like hours. Finally, we made it through the village without hitting a wall or encountering another car coming towards us. The worst was over, or so we thought.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a herd of a hundred or so goats approached us. My husband stopped the car concerned he would run them over. Goats piled up in front of and by the side of our car.
The goat herder screamed at us to move forward to allow the goats to pass. Goats squeezed between the stone walls and our car. Their bulging eyes stared at us through the passenger windows. We were moments away from goats jumping on the car to pass through the road.
Just in time, my husband inched forward to create sufficient space for the herd to pass.
As the goats passed by, it sounded like cleaning bristles in a car wash rubbing against the side of the car. The car rocked side to side. We watched in horror as goats with horns and clanging bells squeezed by the car, sure the car was scratched beyond repair.
When the goats were gone, we slowly exited the car to assess the damage. To our relief, instead of damage, the car was polished shiny clean by the passing goats without a single scratch. We were so grateful to make it through this village with the car unscathed.
We were so caught up in the experience, unfortunately no photos were taken.
Back to the present:
On this visit to Aloizianika we parked our car outside the entrance to the village and walked the narrow lane. The village was peaceful and quiet with no people, cars, or goats in sight. We had just our memories of our precarious drive through the village and now humorous encounter with the herd of goats.
Learn from us. If you find yourself in an old village with a road built for donkey carts, don’t go there. Save yourself a lot of trouble and turn back.
P.S. We continue to find ourselves on roads and in places of questionable judgment. What can I say, we like to explore. Cheers!
Photo Challenge Theme: Quest.