This sturdy monument is located where the Periferiako road meets the way to the cemetery. It is slightly confusing in its mixture of text and visual clues – it looks a bit like a chimney with chimney pot with a ships anchor on the front – and states that the community of Skopelos is grateful to a T. Margariti. What’s up with that?
A local sage (a house painter – tree grafting expert in his mid-70s) told me that this Margaritis (MD) paid to build the beautiful cobbled road from the upper reaches of the town to the cemetery. Unfortunately, over the past 20 years or so, the condition of the road has deteriorated due to intrusions for laying water pipes (the short list). A longer list would include gradual damage of the road base from heavy vehicles as the area beyond the cemetery was built up and subsequent personal motor traffic.
Further on, mounted either side of the gate to the cemetery are two engraved plaques. One reads, “Road of rest (αναπαυσέως) the expense of G. Margaritou and Hariklea Margaritou Year 1916”
The other in Ancient Greek is taken from Matthew 11.28, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.
Therefore the road is 100 years old, built long before the Periferiko (Ring) Road. A little imagination might suggest that the road was necessary to give a funeral procession some dignity as it made the transition from the paved village to the wild and muddy world beyond. Yet the paving stones continue past the cemetery and down to the water source at Aloupi and the little church of Agion Panton. In those days (as now) funerals were sporadic, yet the collection of water for the homes was an everyday thing, so the road takes on added value.
The road also served as the gateway to the interior of the island. The spring provided water for mules before making the steep and winding ascent (via now covered over kalderimi!) to Agia Paraskevi and from there to wherever (Alykias, Panormos, Klima, Glossa).