Road Trip Day #1: Melidoni Cave and "Where's the f*&%ing car?"
Our next stop on Day #1 was the Melidoni Cave.
We missed the sign for it at first, and had to double-back through Perama, in the process discovering that the village was about eight times as big as we had thought and that we could have found any number of cool and trendy coffee bars to have our refreshments in.
After a long winding climb up the mountainside, we parked up in an open space outside the cave and went to explore.
The cave is famous not just for the natural beauty, but also for the martydom there of the Melidoni villagers in 1824. Faced with the oncoming Turkish army, around 370 villagers, including women and children, sought refuge in the cave.
They were beseiged there for three months until the Turkish troops lost patience. With the cave entrance blocked, they dropped burning material down through a vent in the cave roof. The smoke filled the cave and suffocated all of the people.
In the cave today there is a memorial to the victims, which we believe actually contains some of their bones.
The cave itself was beautiful, lit in an eerie green, and it was quite a moving atmosphere.
We got a real scare on the way out though. Our amble back down the hillside towards the car park turned into a trot and then a panic-stricken run. Where was the car? It was nowhere to be seen.
Claire first thought was that she hadn't put the handbrake on properly and that the car had rolled over the cliff, whereas my first thought was "Kewsick!" rapidly followed by "Ohmygodmylaptop!!!!".
It turned out to be an optical illusion - our car was there. It was just completely obscured by someone who had parked in front of it at an angle, which hid our car from our view as we walked down the hill.
Panic over, we set off to get a simple spot of rustic lunch at a taverna we had spotted at the foot of the hill up to the cave.
We each had a Greek salad and shared some olives, as we were entertained by the goats in the field opposite playing on top of an abandoned car in their field.