Today we all woke up at a decent hour to explore the island. Ashley and I had read about a place on the island called Melassini Cave. It is a big cave lake above sea level only accessible by boat with a hole in the top that sun would shine through. I tried to look up information about what time it ran and how much it cost, but that information was nowhere to be found. Either way, everyone was up to make the trip to the cave, hoping it would be open. After 45 minutes of traveling on a curvey road through the mountains with spectacular views of the blue sea, we arrived at the tourist attraction of the cave. When we pulled into the parking lot, it was completely empty except for an old man hanging clothes in the field next to it. Chrissie spoke her Greek and asked him if the lake was open to tourists. He told her that it was closed, but we could walk a couple feet up the mountain to see the top opening of it. We decided to walk there to see if we could see it, but a barbed-wire fence surrounded it. We could barely see the opening to the top of the cave. After leaving there, we stopped quickly to see another cave, but that was also closed. We then drove towards the beach we were going to called Myrtos Beach. We were all very excited to visit this beach because Rich read somewhere that it was one of the top ten beaches in the world. When we got close, we drove past the entrance and up the mountain. Since it was still only around 10:30, we decided to visit the small town of Fikardos just past the beach. Rich told us that this was the only town of the island to withstand the devastating earthquake of 1953. Before arriving there, we passed a small pull-off that over looked Myrtos Beach. We pulled over and marveled at the beauty that was before us. We were on the side of the mountain over looking the beautiful Chrystal blue waters of the beach. It looked like a cove because there were two mountains on each side and the beach is u-shaped. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was and instantly knew from that view why it was in the top ten. We all took plenty of pictures and then continued on our way to Fikardos.
When we arrived to Fikardos, we walked around the town for a little while observing the buildings that had stayed standing. I could tell they were older buildings than in the other cities because they were made of stone rather than the newer cement material. The town was very pretty and all the residents and business owners were preparing for the busy tourist season. They were doing repairs and repainting the buildings bright oranges and pinks over the paint that had faded over the year.
We walked by the small port where all the boats were docked and then stopped at a small cafe that sat right on the water. I was lucky enough to get a seat that was looking out towards the water. We all ordered a cup of coffee to enjoy, and then visited for a while. We also decided to eat lunch there because the beach sat right in between two mountains and didn't have any buildings close. After a relaxing lunch near the water, we had some time to walk around the city. I went to the store with the girls and bought a couple snacks for the beach. Once we were done with that, we were on our way to the beautiful beach.
Upon arrival to the beach, we picked a spot near the water away from the crowds of people (there were only about 8 other people on the beach). We also noticed a big waterfall near the parking lot that was on the other side of the beach. While I was lying parallel to the ocean, I could hear the small waves crashing in one ear, and the waterfall in the other. I had never experienced something like that before and it was one of the most relaxing sounds. I laid in the sun for a while, piling on the sunscreen to ensure I did not get burnt. After some time, everyone woke up from their naps and we all got in the chilly water to take some pictures. After a couple minutes in the water, it warmed up so I stayed in for a while enjoying the swim and crystal clear waters.
After taking pictures in the water, we walked over to the waterfall to explore. We then walked over to the left side of the beach where we saw a small black hole. When we got there, we discovered it was a cave with water that was an opening to the sea on the other side. It was amazing to see a very cool discovery. Everyone swam through the cave to the other side where we sat on some of the rocks for a while. The rocks were very jagged and sharp to walk on, so I did not make it far. We laid on the rocks for a while talking and taking in the scenery. I was trying to suck in every moment because I knew the moment would be gone so fast. The rocks had a drop off deep into the ocean, so Lauren, Carolyn, Hayley, Ashley and I all dove off the rock. Ashley and Lauren swam back through the cave and the rest of us swam the long distance back to our towels. The water was so blue and no matter how deep it was, I could still see straight down to the bottom. At times during the swim, I would stop to relax and take in my surroundings. I was swimming in the waters of a Greek island while everyone I know was stuck in Rindge! After swimming back to the towels, I laid in the sun a little bit longer. It was so relaxing that the time to leave came up really fast. We left the beach around 6:45 to go back to the hotel. On the drive home, I looked out at the window at the open ocean the whole time. I reflected on the trip and came to the conclusion that I didn't want to leave! We had been to three different beaches in three days and each one had its own kind of beauty. The sun was starting to go down and the water had a golden gleam to it that I had never witnessed before. When we got back to the hotel, I watched the sunset over the mountain across from my balcony before going to dinner. I still could not believe the beauty in the island and that some people never witness this kind of beauty in their lifetime.
After showering, the group went to eat at a taverna called Ampelikos that we had eaten at two days before. The owner of the restaurant was so kind and the food was great. We enjoyed our last dinner on the island and then went back to the hotel. By the time we were back, it was around 11 and everyone was exhausted. I packed up my bags and made sure I had everything I needed since I knew my wake up call at 5:15 would come really fast.