Holy calf muscles, Batman! Yesterday we hiked the Samaria Gorge, a 16km stony trail with walls soaring as high as 500m that winds its way through cypress forests, past ancient chapels and abandoned settlements, and zigzags over the river via stepping stones and rickety bridges. The most dramatic point is at the 11.5km mark where the walls narrow to just 3m. Things I could’ve done without: the scorching heat and slippery stones. Things I loved: the mighty scale of the place, the gorgeous wavelike striations in the rocks, a sign at the trailhead showing no high heels (um, duh?), being able to fill our water bottles risk-free with fresh mountain water, the thousands of tiny stone sculptures like relics from some ancient cult, the scent of wild sage, spotting a kri-kri(!), a rarely seen endangered goat, and the cool ocean spray at end of the trail in Agia Roumeli. Oh yes, and having avoided the Samari Gorge tours touted by every single travel agency, by figuring out that we could do it on our own by taking a bus there and ferry back.