and then, more Blue!

With such inspiring thoughts in mind, we drive to the second peninsula. The road is a grey strip that separates the green of the mountains and the blue of the sea, each of them presenting every tint of its color imaginable. This is Sithonia: warm verdant hues on one side, cool azure notes on the other, and you in the middle – we’re in a landscape that’s wild and beautiful in its own special way. We don’t have any music playing in the car; it would be an intrusion. Even the wheels seem to sense the need for quiet, gliding more smoothly, more silently over the road’s surface. We open our windows all the way down to breathe in the scent of pine. I can’t think of anywhere else in the world where the pine smells quite like this. As we drive along the winding road, we spot Athos again, this time without its ring of cloud, cleared away by a gentle breeze. We see the small bays down below near Vourvouras, the islet of Diaporos and a few other places whose names we don’t know. The desire for a swim becomes irresistible. We opt for Akti Oneirou (Dream Coast), which I would define as an A-class boutique campsite: it has a wonderful beach (Manassu), excellent service, a very good restaurant, a mini-boutique with gorgeous beach stuff and an amazing bar. Our loungers come with comfortable cushions and, lying down, we gaze back at Mount Athos across the way. A sense of relaxation does not slowly overtakeus; instead, it’s instantaneous. We fall asleep and take a half-hour nap, waking up with enough energy to see us through to the late night ahead. Halkidiki has a way of bringing out the philosopher in you: the colors, the sights, the smells and the sea are like a symphony of simplicity reminding us how often we forget to appreciate the little things. On Halkidiki, I remember to live. I can say that, in that moment, I was happy. I was in the circle of the essence of existence.