Is there a better thing to do abroad on a Sunday night than watch the sun go down? In Zia, we found the perfect spot. When I saw the description for TUI's 'Zia By Night' excursion on our first morning in Kos, I knew I had to see it for myself. For €15 each, we booked the trip and boarded a bus at around 5.30pm on Sunday evening, ready to be taken up into the hills of Kos, to one of the most iconic spots on the island for spectacular views over the Aegean and towards the neighbouring islands of Kalymnos and Pserimos.
When we arrived, we were given some time for dinner and a chance to wander around. I'll talk more about the market in Zia in another blog post, but today I'm sharing our favourite part! On our hike back down the meandering cobbled hill, after seeing the church, we stopped to take in the view. Down some steps, painted in that Grecian blue that you know I love so much, was a bar called the Water Mill. It seemed almost built into the hillside and had a winding patio area, decorated so whimsically we felt we could be looking down at a fairy garden.
The bar was already filling with people coming to take in the view stretching ahead of us, most of them sipping on fresh, homemade lemonade. Drawn in, we asked for a table. We expected that we wouldn't be able to get a table with a clear view, given the number of customers already seated, but upon the insistence that there were chairs for us, we were led by a gentleman through the garden and down into a narrow pathway, not visible from the road. We reached a table for two by the side of the path, where the man produced chairs straight from the bushes nearby. As we settled into our seats, already gleaming at the view, he brought us our lemonade, garnished with mint leaves he had plucked from a nearby bush on his way back to the table with the drinks.
We remained there watching the sun sink slowly at first, then gradually picking up the pace, behind the hills on the islands ahead of us. We could see all the way across, from the beach resort and salt lake in Tigaki to the islands over the water as the sun gave way to the dusk. I wish I had more words to describe this spectacle and the special place we got to experience it in, but I truly don't have anything. I was thinking about this post for days, trying to sum it up in my mind. Some of my fellow writers here will probably have experienced this feeling before: sometimes we sit down to write about an occasion and the words just flow. This time, I admit I've been fully at loss.
I was speechless at the time, which perhaps didn't help, but I did turn to my second love - capturing the moment the sun sank on camera. On film, I caught the entire time the sun made its rapid descent. When I watched it back, it was mind-blowing to me that it had happened so quickly.
Of course, I took many multiples of pictures, so on the basis that photos can sometimes speak louder than words, I'm letting myself off and leaving you with my photographs and the notion that this was the nicest lemonade I've ever had.
If you've also been to Zia and were surprised by this secretive little place, I'd love to know your thoughts on it. You can see more photos from my trip to Kos over on my Instagram feed and read more about our time there in these blog posts.