Skiathos is called “The Pearl of the Aegean Sea”. The island and its 70 beaches, surrounded by the cleanest waters of the Mediterranean, is a paradise of its own. Some of the beaches sometimes appear on lists of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world.
After the winter storms, the beaches are particularly interesting. Beautiful stones can be found partly hidden in the sand, shells have been washed ashore and artistic driftwood have drifted up on the beaches. Today, we go to the wild Xanemos Beach to search for driftwood, a week before the tourists start to occupy the beaches.
It is a beautiful day. Sunny, one of the first real summer days. We walk along the beach. The beach is totally empty. Everything is quiet except for the sound of soft waves hitting the shore. Totally relaxing. A world of its own.
Then we see them. Mountain goats. The cliffs falling into the sea are steep. We admire the goats, climbing and jumping with such ease and balance on the rocks. Jumping with gracious movements.
“Why don’t you take a picture for your blog”, says my wife. I answer that the goats are too far away. The pictures will not be good. “Go closer”, she encourages me.
I start to move along the beach. The goats are beautiful. I take pictures. Camera high. I must get closer. More pictures, are they good enough?
Then, suddenly, I see movement. Below the cliffs with the goats, a middle aged couple lie in the sand, sun bathing. I did not notice them before. They are totally naked. Nudists. The woman pulls up a towel to cover herself. The naked man stares at me.
Then I quickly realize. They don’t see the goats above them. They are lying peacefully in the sand, enjoying the warm early summer sun shine, on the totally empty Xanemos Beach when they suddenly see a strange man walking towards them, holding his camera high, taking pictures of them.
I quickly turn around and focus on the sea. If there is ever the right time to take meaningless pictures of the sea, this is it. I hold my camera close to my face, taking pictures of the Aegean. I walk slowly away. I glance casually at the couple. They are still staring at me, saying nothing. I take more pictures of the sea.
With a sigh of relief, I reach the car. My wife is already there with a beautiful piece of driftwood. “Let’s go”, I say. “I will explain later”.
Tomorrow I will go shopping at Asteras Supermarket in town. Perhaps I should wear my baseball cap. And my darkest sun glasses….