Brian, Peter, and I are on a ferry, en route to Cesme, Turkey. Peter is an American traveler I met while on the train from Patras to Athens. A recent graduate from Washington state, Peter decided to travel for six months before facing reality – not a bad idea. Brian ended up meeting up with us on Chios, where I’ve spent the last three nights.
Chios was described to me as an island that the unsuspecting tourist finds, falls in love with, and never leaves; after spending three nights there, I can see clearly how this is the case.
A dry, arid, and mountainous island, Chios is best known for the production of mastic. A dried, resin-like sap which comes from Mestic Trees – indigenous to the south of Chios. Villages on the south of the island form a co-operative and produce and distribute the product in a number of different forms – from gum, to cosmetic products, to foods. The three of us hired a car and spent one day exploring the island. It was fascinating to explore the Mastic villages – many of these medieval, enclosed towns of less than 1000 people.
The highlight of my time in Chios oddly took place the morning I arrived from Athens. Peter and I arrived on the ferry at the ungodly hour of 4am. With no plans of where we were staying, we ended up killing time by drinking Greek coffees in the local bus station. As we were waiting for the town of Chios to wake up, I watched a beautiful sunrise over Turkey.