Gordon: The musical film Mamma Mia was filmed largely on Skopelos. There are numerous references to the movie in the tourist literature. One beach is now referred to as the “Mamma Mia beach”, and a small church dramatically located on a spire of rock at the edge of the sea is the “Mamma Mia church”. Whatever the artistic merits of the movie, the church of Agios Iannis is a gem.
We cycled to the church for the second time today. It is only an 18 km round trip, but it involves a total climb of about 500 metres. The road to the church is a delight, climbing over the spine of the island, and then angling down to the sea on the other side. The narrow, winding track is littered with fallen olives and lined with clumps of delicate, wild cyclamen blossoms.
A cooler airmass moved into the region a few days ago, reducing the daily high temperatures to the low twenties. Despite the cooler conditions a swim in the sea is still very desirable. We have a mask and snorkel with us, so we did some snorkelling in the crystal clear water near the church. In a phrase familiar to Canadian ears, the waters in this area have been “over harvested”. As a result there is a dearth of life to be seen through a snorkelling mask, but it was lovely just to peer through the clear water at the limestone boulders and formations beneath the waves.
Even at the remotely situated Agios Iannis church we encountered a number of hungry, affectionate cats. In what is no doubt a glimpse of our elder years, we always carry some dry cat food with us, so we were able to share with our new friends.