We had been with my photographer in Skopelos island earlyin the summer , a year after the movie Mama mia was shot in that very island. The whole island was whispering rhythms of ABBA, it was incredible. You saw a fisherman and you thought he was picking the nets singing rhe rhythm of «Dancing Queen». We almost went mad, it was so weird …
After tracing with the locals all the shooting locations of the movie, after we swam in all the beaches glorified by the Hollywood stars, we continued to the north of the island, at the most beautiful undiscovered and unexplored parts.
Unexplored? Tell me about it …
“Let’s see where they filmed the end of Mama mia, the wedding scene ,” said Joanna, the daughter of the mayor of the island. She was showing us around Skopelos.
I said yes . What could I say ?
We drove up to the deserted dirt roads of Cape Gourouni, we reached the whitewashed old lighthouse and at midday we ended up in a beautiful remote coast. A rocky island was connected to the mainland by a small path. A picturesque landscape…
The sun was glittering on the trembling sea, around the rocky islet with the chapel of Saint John on top of it. It is called Saint John at Kastri (at the castle). The water around is deep blue with yellow prints of the sunken rocks .
The say that the little church is Byzantine, though it looks newer . We followed the path uphill and walked the 107 steps to reach the chapel. The view at the eastern coast of the island was excellent . The breeze smelled nicely, scents of thyme and samphire .
I heard various legends about the chapel . They say that before making a church here, people saw the icon of Saint John hanging from an olive tree, beside the rocks. While others argue that they saw and whole body the saint, sitting on the rock to invite faithful people to give them his blessing. However it is certainly a great place for a hermitage. At the back of the church a path leads to a small cave where a monk lived and died there. It should be nice here on the 29th of August , when the chapel celebrates and local people came here for the feast.
Les was endlessly photographing, Joanna was talking on her cell phone and I was sitting at the shade resting on the whitewashed wall.
Everything seemed to be far away; Skopelos island we explored earlier , artists , monasteries , the Castle , plums , beaches , movies, everything. And all I watched overwhelming me, sucking my mind, was the deep sea water, under the rock. And all those fish that swim in it.
-“Move man, our dinner is swimming …”, my photographer cried, as he was wearing the swimsuit .
He’s right. I have to catch a couple of fat sea breams for our evening meal ….
Where am I ?
In Skopelos , one of the most beautiful islands of the Northern Sporades group of islands. The best and most popular way to get here is by boat (conventional or high speed ) both from Volos city and Agios Konstantinos harbor . The quickest way to get to Skopelos is to arrive by airplane at the neighboring Skiathos island and then travel by ferry boat to Skopelos.
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