Hidden gems.

I figured, since it’s been snowing and super cold in Oslo, what would be better than summer-dreaming, so this goes back to last August, when we visited a little island called Chios

If you don’t know anything about Chios, you should know this: Chios is rich in landscapes! On many different occasions I found myself in awe about how much the island has to offer. Of course, you have your small mountain villages and even a considerably big main city (called Chios), but for the most part you will find nature. Be it sandy beaches, rich forests or porous cliff sides, in Chios you will find anything.

You even find goats!!!

On one of the many adventurous day-trips we decided to stop at the cave of Olympi. Just for it’s name alone, I knew I had to check it out and if you are into this sort of thing, I mean where you wait for about 55 minutes, so you can be yelled at several times by a not-happy-about-my-job-type-of-person in Greek, while you look at the cave for about 7 minutes, then by all means, go for it. But for me? The likelihood of me going back there is next to nothing. Of course, this is amazing, I mean, just imagine (or google) how many years it took to develop the stalagmites, and if I were able to explore this by myself, I would do it. After all, there is rarely a place as spooky as stalagmite caves, but honestly, do yourself a favor, and skip the whole waiting for a bored-out-of-his-mind tour guide at Olympi cave. No matter how beautiful the inside is…

Cave of Olympi

But I’m not a Debbie Downer, if you want to see caves while on Chios, go to Agio Gala. It’s quite a trip from Chios town BUT it is so worth it. Not only do you get to tour the most wonderful convent (and eat all the vegetables from the local garden, while watching ducks run around in the most idyllic place), you also get to hear history from charming, up-beat, wonderful locals who love nothing more than taking you around. We spent hours with our tour guide and she answered the most silliest questions with a smile. I wish I had a photo to show you, but somehow I managed to miss my opportunity to take photos. This may also be due to the terrifying near-death-experience-ride that my wonderful husband so confidently put me through. But look it up, I promise you, its’ worth it.

What’s more important though, especially considering the freezing cold temperatures in most of Northern Europe: DYNAMO BEACH. The most wonderful place on earth and that is considering all the magical places I have found myself in the last few years… Dynamo Beach is a bit of a ways from the cave of Olympi but thinking of it still gives me goosebumps. We found this beach by  following the signs for “beach”, trying desperately to escape the caves… Neither A nor I have ever been there, so we decided to check it out and the closer we got, the more excited I got.

What you don’t see in the picture is the first beach, which would be to the right of the cliffs. But you see the hidden gem of beauty, tucked in between two cliffs. It’s all natural, there are no facilities to support a huge crowd of people hanging out there, so naturally you won’t find a massively huge crowd at the hidden beach. The hike down there only took about 20 minutes, but don’t be fooled, it’s not an easy hike. I must have fallen about a hundred times on rocky terrain (and in doing so broke both my flipflops). But it was so worth it. The water was incredibly clear and warm and wonderful and well-kept (fish were swimming around, starfish happily moving along, sea urchins, and what have you…), the sand felt so good after the hike and my feet absolutely loved every moment of it. There were hardly any people around and we were able to get some shade from the shrubbery. We spent hours in the water, playing around. A swam so far out, he couldn’t even touch the ground and that’s saying something! He hates not being able to touch the ground. But fear not, I was close by and would have been able to drag him back to shore.

Dynamo Beach (colors NOT enhanced).

The moral of the story is, that sometimes you have to go through the ugly to find the beautiful. We may have wasted away at Olympi cave, where I am a 100% sure I aged of boredom at least 10 years, but this sight for sore eyes rejuvenated me for months, maybe even years to come. A and I don’t typically go back to places we’ve been to, mainly because the world has so much to offer, we want to see it all, but we might be heading back to Chios some time soon next year, just so we can soak again in this beauty. Oh, and also for the food, oh and for the weather… oh and, because thinking of Chios gives me the feels. I don’t even mind having to leave the apartment at -10 degrees C weather… That’s a lie. But at least, thinking of Dynamo beach keeps me warm for a little while.

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