Τρίτη, Αυγούστου 22, 2006

August in my father's hometown...

Every 15th of August my entire family gathers in Kalamata,my fathers home town reason that we all gather on the 15th is because its my brothers nameday ( yes,we have that too) and my grandfathers as well. Its like a tradition we keep every August and with that, we have special events around it.
In our village, which is 12klm from Kalamata ( the central town) we have something called "panigiri", On the 15th August, the Feast of the Virgin Mary, a church service is held in the morning and in the afternoon open-air festivities on the plain are held with folk dances accompanied by local music and local delicacies.
Let me tell you the story around it :
"Grand celebration of Virgin Mary. At the ruins of the old steeple in Markopoulo village and Arginia, the miraculous snakes of Virgin Mary appear. They remain in both churches area until the night of 15th August, when they disappear. These snakes are completely harmless. Their characteristic feature is the cross on their head. A very important fact is that they do not appear on any other day apart from the period between 6-15 August, when they disappear. Tradition has it that in 16th c. during a raid of the Pirate Barbarossa, the nuns who lived there, prayed to Virgin Mary to save them, so they were transformed into snakes. One should take into account that in two particular years, the snakes did not appear. The first time was during the German and Italian occupation and the second in 1953, the year of the disastrous earthquake."

After the church in the morning we gather in a tavern called Pidima ( exact translation is "humping" ) and eat delicious local food and drink beers to celebrate the day.

Τρίτη, Αυγούστου 01, 2006

Camping in beach "Kalamitsi" (Kea)...a weekend full with "experiences" ;)

Who said camping is only about siting on the beach all day long, laying down in the sun and practically do nothing? Well, you can always make things in the sand ( e.x castles) and remember your childhood or go fishing. I always thought fishing is boring but, as it turns out, it's quite fun.
We spent a weekend in beach Kalamitsi ( Island 'Tzia'). You see, I have little camping experience so it was a weird thing to do. Unlucky fo us, on that beach there weren't any trees protecting you from the sun. So, eventualy, we got burned. During the night many crickets (those bugs that makes a lot of noise) decide to sing right next to our tents and as you can imagine we couldn't get much sleep. Finally, the road towards the beach was terrible, and as a result our car got stuck in a dustroad and we had to call Mr. John, the only guy in the area who owned a 4X4 pich up truck, to un-stuck our car. Mr. John showed an hour later and did the job. The funny thing was that he laughted and said to us that despite the fact that he is living in the area for 10 years, he haven't even heard the beach 'Kalamitsi' and that only crazy tourists like us can find them. You know, Mr.John's occupation is 'Unstucking crazy tourists's cars'!

Nevertheless, being alone in a great beach with nobody around you in a 3Km distance, seeing the amazing sunset, drinking 'ouzo' (Greek's national drink) during the night with your friends and listening the waves, are enought reasons to make you forget any discomfort.

I can definetly say that this was a weekend that I will never forget and I would gladly do it again...

Δευτέρα, Ιουλίου 17, 2006

Tour in "Lake Doksas"

It was the first time I have even heard of Lake Doksas (or Feneos as its written on the map) and I happened to go there for the baptism of some friends' little boy...
Because it's summer-time and most Greeks prefer to go to the beaches that Greece has to offer, I was kind of dissapointed to go to a mountain for the weekend...BUT, for my amazement, I was absolutely thrilled for what I confronted! The mountains,the paths and the villages that someone can found to North Korinthia, are astonishing! The best part is that these villages are still "virgin", tourist-free. Most people haven't even heard about them. So, you will have the chance to talk to friendly villagers, eat traditional and cheap food and explore the unexplored mountains of North Korinthia! A good guide book is from road editions "the unexplored Pelloponisos" in which you can find forest-roots tha end to beautiful lakes and rivers that can be apporached only on foot or by bike. It can be really tiering follow this roads but if you want tourist-free places you can't find them by just taking the bus!

Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 05, 2006

Weekend in island 'Tzia' ( Kea)

I strongly suggest a weekend in Tzia, it's close to Athens (only one hour from Lavrio port), it's beautiful and its has TONS of perfect beaches!! The pictures are from a beach called "Sukaminia" which is only 25 minutes away from the port. It has trees you can lay under, you have to (definetly) buy water from the port since there isn't anything down there. Since the most part of Tzia doesn't have asphalted roads, you have to go with a car that can handle dust-roads! The best map/travel guide is from road editions. TRUST ME!! ITS PERFECT!!!!

Πέμπτη, Ιουνίου 15, 2006

Central Evia - Kimi

Kimi is a city in Central Evia. Kimi combines both sea and mountain.The city is on the mountain which is a beautiful village filled with trees whereas the cost, is a small port with fisherman and several taverns where you enjoy the fresh and famous octapus they serve. Our route was from Athens to Kimi and then went from another road and ended up in the famous beach which is called "Hiliadou".The drive from Kimi to Hiliadou was very grafic and combinable with local sight-seeings. An interesting site written in English is http://www.e-city.gr/evia/home/view/2000.php where you can find any info on hotels and routes around Evia.

South Evia

South Evia... Beach 'Gouves'.

'Evia' island can satisfy all kinds of preferences regarding vacations, from lovely beaches to unexplored mountain-routes through amazing forests and beautiful waterfalls. I strongly recommend a, more or less, 3 hours drive through a forest-road (from 'Feneo' to 'Zarouhla') where the scenery is really breathtaking. You should use a motorcycle or your mountain-bike. Leave your car at home, it's useless for this kind of roads.

At Evia island getting boring is not an alternative because you have many choices to go to and spend your day. The distances are not that long and you have the opportunity to pass through tiny villages where you can stop and take a swim (in some of them anyway), eat good and cheap food and then go back to where you have started. Evia is considered to be a 12-months island but if you ask me I think the best season to go there is May, June and September (because its less crowded).

Our transportation....

....no, that's not mine...but I can drive it!!!! ;)


Beach 'Dikastika' in Athens

This is Debora...my friend!! You can't find really good beaches in Athens but Dikastika is an exception. The best choise for a swim if you can't visit a Greek island.

Its right after Marathwnas ("Shinias") and you can enjoy clean sea water.
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