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...
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