We drove up to Kounali for lunch at Susan and Jerry’s friends’ restaurant. Best. Moussaka. in all of Greece. You know the food is going to be good when another patron walks up to the waitress at our table to ask for the menu, and she responds “I am the menu!” Friends with Susan and Jerry, the chef came out to greet us, the waitress sat down with us after we were done eating, it was my favorite dining experience in all of Greece. Even if it did include the obligatory shot of raki before Andrew and I walked through an abandoned village, and then down the mountain to Milatos Cave and back to Susan and Jerry’s house.
The village just outside of Kounali was abandoned about twenty years ago, if I remember correctly. Susan and Jerry suggested we walk through it and it was interesting, but mostly because it made me wonder about the families who used to live there. Where are they now? If they wanted, could they come back to this little rock pile and claim it as their own again? Will it ever be inhabited again?
We walked back through Kounali and started to make our way down the mountain to Milatos Cave. Susan and Jerry clocked the walk right around five kilometers. Going down isn’t so bad, but it made me grateful that we didn’t have to climb all the way up to Kounali from Milatos.
The cave was a little daunting at first. There were lights strung up inside, but they weren’t working and it was pitch black looking in. I saw a scary movie as a kid involving a cave. I can’t remember what it was, but the cave bit has always stuck with me. Creepy. Needless to say, I pretty much clung to Andrew’s back while he led the way towards the light. Literally, as there was another opening through the cave, along the edge of the mountainside where the altar had been built. You can read about the history of the cave here, if you’d like.
We didn’t linger long, be being afraid creepy people were going to come out of the darkness and grab me and all. We made our way back down to Milatos slowly, stopping at times to admire the view, or watch the mountain goats nibble on their cliffside dinner.