Kalamata has a metropolitan area population of approximately 100 000 . It boasts rich culture and entertainment. It is walkable, cyclable, driveable, and has public transportation. It seems to have more cafés per capita than any place I’ve ever seen. People have not lost their Greek coffee culture, even when they are being forced to become Europeans. Kalamata is fairly isolated. A 3 hour drive from Athens, it is the hub of anything substantial in the southern Peloponnese. It has everything a big city offers and all the comfort of a small town.
It is rare to find a small city with a vast beast and a good downtown shopping area, all the while producing a mix between urban and rural, modern and traditional. You bathe in the unknown entity of what may happen next.
Walking in the ghetto of Old Kalamata looked like a page out of the squalor of a small Vermont town —trivial at best. The graffiti seems so well planned and proper that it would be a shame to take it down.
The above picture is of graffiti next to the biggest church in the city. It’s a small church yet is surrounded by residences of priests, nuns, and future clerics. In another twist, there were what seemed like very poor immigrants in front of one of the buildings.
As you can see, it was time to leave. The heat was overwhelming.