With almost more freckles than sun tan and unfortunately 19 mosquito bites I am sitting in the midday heat on my bed writing while looking out of the window over the hills which surround Sikia. A little breeze comes into my room and I have to admit life is pretty good, even though the mosquito seem to be overly attached to me 😉
Sikia is a little village in Greece on one of the peninsula in the region Chalkidiki. It’s the middle peninsula (see image) and called Sitonia. 2 hours by car from Thessaloniki. My Mother and I came here for vacation the first time in 1999 when I was 8 years old. Since then we came over here almost every year until three years ago when I moved to Sweden. Now we are back and it feels like home. I am almost 24 now so the first time we came here is 16 years ago. Crazy. 16 years passed and every time we come back here and drive into the village I look up the hills where always a single tree was standing in something what looked like a little dent on the hill. Now the three has another tree besides him which spends him company. ( You can click all images to watch them in big).
Mum and I always rent a car at the airport and drive along the coast up to Sikia, the last bit of the journey is always the nicest since you have a great view over the Mediterranean sea. Having a car in Sikia is handy since the beach is about 10 min driving away. There are buses as well and of course cabs but an own car it’ just nicer. In the first years we stayed at a house of friends which was build on a little hill with a view over the village. We had a little apartment inside that house which was cozy and had a typical Greek little kitchen and a big balcony. A garden build on the stones of the hill was full of flowers and had on the opposite of it a tiny house where the toilet and the shower was in. We called it the Akropolis. It was annoying to walk over there to use the bathroom and hot water was only available when the sun had heated it up but still, it had its charm 🙂 Later one of the house owners built a cute, tiny bathroom in the apartment. I loved being at that house as a child and I would spend lots of time reading on the balcony, having breakfast with Mum or just looking over the village.
In later years we started living at a house of a friend of my Mum. This house is big, beautiful and really nice to stay at. It has a balcony as well with a great view over the village and a big garden. The door and the windows are painted in that typical Greek blue, which I love so much and every years we stayed at this house we had some cats around which appreciated very much when we gave them some food. This year we have compared to the other years not many around. Three which are there every day and one or two which sometimes comes by to steal some food from the others. Two of them are Mum and Kid which enjoy playing around in the garden. I think it has another kitten which always sits on the neighbors roof and screams Maybe its stuck there, it never comes down. Maybe tonight we will try to rescue it and with my bad luck I hopefully won’t hurt myself doing it 😉
The village never changes much but it is noticeable that many people have left. More and more houses are empty and slowly taken over by nature. Our favorite restaurant is long closed and not so many friends we used to have are around anymore. When I was younger we met every year many known faces. Now it is less but some are still here. Mum and I have a good friend from England who lives in Greece and has a house in Sikia. It is always really nice to meet her again. Her son is visiting at the moment, who I also know since I was a kid, and tonight we gonna have dinner together. My childhood friend which I got to know in the first years , a German girl who lives in Greece, I will see again as well tomorrow. I always liked her a lot and I didn’t see her in many years and I look much forward seeing her again !
We weren’t here the last three years and coming back now after finishing my Bachelor Studies in Sweden and having my Master Studies ahead of me feels very calming and relaxing. I somehow have the feeling I can relax here even more than I used to. When I was younger I could never wait to go to the beach, downtown or out for dinner. The time around midday when it is too hot to really do anything I often felt was too long even though I always loved to read for hours. Now I enjoy the siesta time and I enjoy taking it easy. I am not bored and I rather feel the time flies by. Maybe that’s how it is when one gets old 😉
It is a long time ago that I went for a vacation like this. For pure relaxation, staying at one spot, not travelling around and spending lots of time drinking ice coffee and swimming. I love adventures, road trips, travelling far and doing lots of things but this is very nice too. It is nice that Mum and I keep up this tradition and 10 days are not too long either. In August I will go hiking with Rickard high up in Sweden again in an area with the highest mountains and no hiking trails, so I will get my adventure there 🙂
I have so many memories of the time I have spent here in Sikia, if I would write them all down this post would be way too long. However a few things which come into my mind I would like to share.
A must is the ice coffee called Frapée at cafes in the center of the village after breakfast and before the siesta. Sometimes we drive to Sarti a rather touristic place approx. 8 km away from Sikia where we go shopping and spend some time at the cafes along the waterside. As I mentioned before siesta time is relaxing and very calm. Full of reading, naps or writing postcards. Yes I still write postcards and I love it. People should do it more often even when they could send an email instead.
Talking about emails, we have no internet at the house , so just when we go to a cafe which has wifi I get to check mails, Facebook, news etc. Back in the old days we first had no internet at all and then after a while they had internet in the local internet cafe where we would go to check mails one or two times during our stay. I have to say I don’t miss it. It is nice for once not be over rolled by Facebook, Whatsapp, mails and what not, and if you really need to communicate there are still SMS.
I am reading a great book at the moment, Mum bought it for me in Germany so I read it in German but it is originally from the UK. It is called “The adventures of Goodnight and Loving” by Leslie Thomas, written in 1996. The German title is “Die unfreiwillige Reise des Mister Goodnight.” Everyone who likes life, travelling, is sometimes bored of daily-normal life or simply likes adventures but is not sure how, or if, going for one would be a good idea should read it. It is a ‘light’ book and even though I have only started a few days ago I am already over page 200 🙂 so go to your local book dealer or library and get on it ! 🙂 You won’t regret it.
In the late afternoon we always drive to the beach where I try since days to become brown and not only very full of freckles 😛 Swimming is amazing here since the water is crystal clear (if there wasn’t just a storm) and really warm. My favorite beach is still Linaraki . It is a huge bay and on the weekend fairly full, however, during the week not very much. This year we didn’t come during the high season which rather starts in the middle of July, so often we have many meters to the left and right from where we lay 🙂 The water can be calm like in a bathtub and can have waves as well. Yesterday the waves were a little higher and we jumped over and into them. Lots of fun ! There are several smaller bays around as well which are nice but not ideal for swimming rather for snorkeling since there are many reefs in the water.
After the beach we often stop at a supermarket next to a gas station where since always sits a rather ‘big’ women at the counter. We call it ‘the supermarket of the chubby one’ and it’s a tradition to stop there and see if she is still there and buy some stuff. When I was a kid, I always would go inside there without shoes because the cold tiles under the feet always felt wonderful. I did that again yesterday. Still feels great 🙂
Sikia has still inhabitants which take it pretty serious with going to the church, praying and singing. Which one could think is nice BUT the priest here, well lets put it in that way, is a bit over enthusiastic with his religious duties. Every Sunday in the very early morning first the bells start ringing but not the nice kind,no. It sounds like an alarm , like the world is going under. In the first years here I always got scared later then annoyed. After the bells the praying starts and believe it or not, the prayers are transmitted over speakers through the whole village and last quite the while 😛 But even this annoyance has become part of our tradition and last Sunday when the bells went all nuts I was laying in my bed grinning over the fact that this still had not changed. I remember one year someone sneaky cut the cables of the speakers and no praying could be transmitted, that was (at least for me) really nice 😉
I love Greek food, so dinner time is always great. Most of the time we go out in the village but sometimes we drive somewhere like to my favorite restaurant at a beach. It is called Zorbas and sits on a little hills directly above the water. When I was younger me and friends would always climb down there and feed the fish with bread left overs from dinner. Sitting there and watching over the ocean is pure bliss.
After arriving there yesterday, however, we had to notice that it sadly had closed…. But on the other side of the beach there is another restaurant with an almost equally nice view and really good food.The nights are warm and full of stars, since Sikia is not very big there is not much light which lets you really enjoy the night sky. Having a last drink in the night watching over the village and listen to the sound of it, is just great.
A few days ago (as probably many of you know) Greece played its last game in the world cup this year which is sad however; we had an awesome time at a bar watching it! There is a bar at the village center or square called Queens Bar. We went there before it had this name and before they completely renewed it. All in the style of the music band Queen and many other pictures of Rock legends. They really invested time and work in it and the owners are really nice 🙂 We watched the game there and I can’t remember I ever got so worked up over a German game like I did over that game !! It was great atmosphere even though there weren’t so many people in the bar. Sadly Greece lost but at least we had a lot of fun ! The next day Germany played and we left after 45 min to watch the rest at home where I overslept the goals made my Germany 😛
Sikia is also nice because it has no tourist overload, there are always a few other Germans or people like us who come back often for vacation but that’s pretty much it. Sarti the other close by village rather reminds me of a tiny version of the ‘Ballermann’ in Spain. If you want a nice and relaxed vacation which is not about being on the run all the time but still don’t want the typical all inclusive touristic hotel stuff then you should come here. If you feel active you can still go hiking, do donkey riding in the hills, go diving, take a boat trip to look at the half island Athos where only monks are allowed to step on (we did that in the first year and dolphins where following the boat 🙂 ) or you can take trips to Marmaras, Torini or Nikiti. We have done all this years ago and for now rather feel like lots of relaxation 😉
Let’s see how well it works to upload this later from a cafe, internet is not the fastest here but as well rather ‘relaxed’ 😛
Next week I am back in Sweden and then it the beginning of August adventure hiking is on the program 😀 the trains up north are booked, 24 hours up and 23 hours down. We have beds in the night train and on the way back we even have our on sleeping cabin 🙂 I will soon write a post about the trip and which route we plan to hike and so on , so stay tuned 🙂 I wish you all a great Summer and thank you for reading !