The walk of chafe

Okay, so now that you know a little about Chios and you know a little more about the driving situation in Chios, let me tell you about some of the things that one definitely should (not) miss.

Fall has officially arrived in Oslo, and people surprisingly wasted no time getting their parkers, their big scarfs and mittens out. I – on the other hand – am still summer dreaming and refuse to acknowledge fall until I am fully ready for it, which should happen in the next one to two weeks or maybe days, who really knows.

So, in an attempt to avoid the fall-feelings for a bit longer, let me take you back to Chios, where the air smells like warm thyme, you feel dried salt on your skin and beach hair is a must every single day. If you’ve met A, you’ll know that he likes to stay busy. He cannot sit still and just hang out… Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine and Puddy are traveling back from Europe to the US? No? Here’s a little clip to help you remember and now, imagine me being Puddy and A being Elaine… Totally accurate, 99% of the time.

When we go on vacation, A cannot simply sit at the beach and enjoy the wonderfulness that is beach-life. On the contrary, everything needs to be planned out and so, it doesn’t come to anyone’s surprise that every single day, while on vacation, we were busy beyond words. But the good kind, the one that let’s you know you’re on vacation, if you know what I mean. So one day A decided that a trip across the island would be totally worth it and necessary and so we found ourselves between somewhere and nowhere, without a proper GPS signal on the way to Markella.

The story of Markella is one beyond imagination, it sounds so fantastic, it must be true… And before you start disputing it, I’ve heard it through the grapevine,ch means depending on the person who told the story and their moral of the story, it probably changed its meaning a million times before I got to hear it and now get to share it with you.

Markella was a young woman, her father a rich and powerful man. He had a wonderful wife, who sadly he lost to sickness. The story goes that the father went insane after his wife died, the loss-stricken man began lusting after his own flesh and blood and started harassing the young Markella. So, brave Markella fled, she ran over razor sharp boulder edges along the coast, trying to avoid her father’s anger. But the man was beyond his own power to control himself, if he couldn’t have Markella, no one should have her. He took his bow and arrow and started firing at brave Markella. Her father was a warrior, a precise man, he always hit a target and so he hit Markella’s leg, which started bleeding all over the boulders. Markella did not give up, the pain was unbearable, but she kept running, kept crawling, trying to slip through her father’s fingers. Eventually, however, Markella’s wounds were too much and so she died. Still today, you can see brown/reddish discoloration on the edges of the shore, reminding of Markella’s bravery. Of course, if you ask a geologist, you’ll quickly learn that the discoloration comes from sediments in the soil and in the boulders, but who wants to believe science when a woman’s bravery is the alternative?

To remember Markella’s bravery a small chapel was build at the edge off a cliff. To reach it, you too will have to walk as long as Markella ran (for about two miles), along the blood-stream shore. Of course, these days you don’t have to crawl over razor sharp boulders anymore, you can just walk along the paved sidewalk. Most people choose to take a quick dip first and then make the walk, whenever they need a break from swimming. As did we.

Now, I don’t know what your situation is like, but I am a shapely woman, one that cannot walk extended times in a skirt without chafing, unless I wear some kind of undergarment to prevent that. I think, many women face the same issue, it’s a thing, a horrible one… One so horrible that at the end of Markella’s walk, I might as well have bled as much as Markella did. Well, not that bad, chafing is obviously the lesser of the two evils, maybe the modern-day walk of Markella? Although, thankfully I did not die from my wounds, that would have been horrible… but as I walked my chafe, constantly readjusting my beach towel which was the only thing I had with me before we started the walk, thinking I won’t need anything else, I couldn’t help but think of all the times where admirable women paved the way for this generation.

A’s aunt loves Markella (the village, chapel and the walk) for reasons beyond me. But she too has faced challenges and yet she is the bravest, kindest, most wonderful person who has ever allowed me to love her. For remarkable women like her, who’ve changed the world for people like me, I gladly chafe any day.

Here a little snippet of my fantastic camera work at Markella…

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