We pile into our dusty, steel grey Fiat Panda at 5am, shivering a little from the cool breeze. The engine purrs obediently as I turn the key, flick on the dim headlights. Harry checks the map, then we’re off. Through the rearview mirror, the port of Adamas glimmers in the distance; the iconic Greek skyline disappears from view we zoom ahead. Soon, we’re on the open road, winding through hills under the purple inkiness of the sky, towards the roaring seas of Sarakiniko.
You can hear the swirling waters before you see them. The road suddenly changes from dust and dirt to smooth white limestone; it looks like something out of a sci-fi film. We park our little Panda in an empty patch of ground and follow the path up. Nobody’s around, save for two tiny figures we can see crossing some rocks down below us.
Rough wind whips my hair across my face as we climb to the peak. One smooth rock calls our name, and we settle down on it to witness the dawn.
It’s still dark, the clouds are blocking the sun, but there’s a tell-tale haze of orange-gold glimmering behind them. It’s freezing up here, the September winds are strong. But we know the sun’s coming, and it’ll all be worth it.
The sun climbs higher, higher.
Seven a.m. Sweet golden sunrise breaks over the sea, filling the darkness with colour and light. The clouds fall beyond the clouds, the sun beams down upon Sarakiniko. The rock surface is luminescent; the seas are foaming waves of turquoise.
As the sun climbs the sky, we climb down to the sea. Mighty and riotous, the waves hurl themselves against the glowing moonrock around us. We’re enraptured.
It’s like we’re standing on a different planet.
Something from Star Wars, Interstellar; otherworldly.
These are the moments that spark joy for me. Being in a new place, with a familiar face, awed by nature’s beauty. Being in alien terrain that feels so otherworldly it sets your mind on fire.
Sarakiniko, we’ll be back.