The mountainous road that connects Elafonissi with Kissamos crosses through the dizzying gorge of Topolia. Here, it becomes narrower and curvier and at one point, cuts through the mountain with a single lane tunnel. The car flow is regulated by traffic lights on both ends of the tunnel. On both of these exits, the road widens enough for cars to park on one side, take a break and breathe in the view. But that’s only part of the magic.
For, obstructed from view by a taverna-café and lush green bushes and trees, at the top of a well maintained footpath, the mountain opens up into a large cavern forming the cave of Agia Sofia. 20m in height and 70m in diameter, the cave is home to ancient stalagmites and stalactites and a colony of pigeons. Wild fig trees grow out of the rock and a tiny church, Agia Sofia, is curved directly into it.
The deeper you walk into the cave, the darker, cooler and all the more slippery it gets. It is said there are still many tunnels and cavities that have not been explored yet. Not by people, at least.
Agia Sofia Cave, Topolia, 3 July 2015
Images by Konstantinos Implikian