Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Evia

Did I tell you that we drove to Evia? Probably not. I don't remember telling you, and if I don't remember it, then it didn't happen.

We drove to Evia several weeks ago, during the Clean Monday holiday. Clean Monday is the kite-flying national holiday following Carnival. This year, it was gray, drizzly, chilly, and bleak. I guess it was windy, too, because people still flew kites. Bully.

Evia is the second largest island in Greece. It's connected to the mainland by two bridges, which are about a two hour drive north-east of Athens.

There are three major things in Evia that shouldn't be missed. The first is Mount Dirfys, the tallest mountain on the island. It's a gorgeous feature in the center of Evia, with famous hiking trails. Here's the mountainous view we saw on our journey:


The second thing you cannot miss in Evia is the trela nera, or "crazy waters" of Chalkida. Due to a natural tidal wave, hydrodynamics, and other things I've never studied in my life, the flow of the water changes directions every six hours. Honest to goodness, the flow of the water completely reverses directions. Usually the change in flow is preceded by about 8 minutes of calm waters. We camped out in Chalkida for two hours waiting for the water to reverse directions. Eventually, we realized we'd incorrectly calculated the estimated time of the change. We trooped to our car, only to realize as we were driving over the bridge that the water had reversed direction. We missed it by minutes.

Happier times--when we still thought we were going to witness the water change directions. The water flows really fast under this bridge. Wikipedia tells me it's flowing about 9mph. Here's that page, if you want to read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trela_nera

The third thing(s) you can't miss are the thermal springs. The northern part of the island has plenty. There are nice resorts, which have blocked off some of them, and require you to pay an access fee. We don't know anything else about the springs. We never even got close to them.

All in all, it was a bit of a bum trip. We missed pretty much everything that would have justified the drive to Evia. Let our failure be your guide. If you go to Evia, go on a clear day. Make sure you've carefully researched the reversal times for the crazy waters, or build enough time into your itinerary to camp out in Chalkida for a few hours if you have to. If you want to go to the thermal springs, plan that as a separate day trip. Most importantly, take a good camera, so when you write about your experience, you're not sharing blurry, cheap cell phone photos.





Despite it all, Evia is pretty, even in crappy weather, and it's one of the easiest islands to get to from the mainland. Go, please. Take lots of pictures. 

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