Every Saturday morning consisted of a φραπέ /frappé cold coffee at about 10 or so. It gave everyone the opportunity to sleep in a bit before meeting at the καφενείο (coffee shop ). It often came with beer and always with cigarettes. And a bunch of unexpected characters would make cameo appearances after the weekly social hibernation. And there were the regulars that wanted to talk of their frustrations, but always with a sense of humour and pride. The owner put on what he thought was the hot Greek music of the week and others hummed or moved or elbowed their neighbors.
This coffee shop is only frequented like this on Saturday morning. A change of pace. The regular older clientele still drinking Turkish (Greek ) coffee knows to keep away at least from 10 to 1 on Saturdays.
The sad thing is that we will soon need to call it the Freddo culture. Soon we will be the ones staying away.
Plaka is my favourite place in Athens. I didn’t spend much time there, but I always make it a plan to go to Plaka. I apologize to the people I couldn’t meet. There just wasn’t enough time guys.
Just another small street where you can shop for cheap. Plaka is for all budgets.
A steal. Right?
Plaka Not a place for a food connaisseur. But it looks nice. Just go and have a coffee.
This is the sunset from our final day at the beach.
The best beach within the Methoni boundaries is the sandy and picturesque little plot of land in Kritika called Kotronakia Beach. There is barely enough room for its 12 umbrellas. The air is always cool and the atmosphere relaxed. It’s amazing how it’s so easy to go from a quiet beach where all you hear is the waves to the cantina above in just 30 seconds. And the view is spectacular and the ouzo and tsipouro (Greek version of grappa ) cheap.
Even in late August, when the extreme heat has subsided to about 30 degrees, it’s still best to stay away from the garden between 2 and 6. Which leaves you with just over an hour to rewater everything and do a final spot check before dark.
Our garden has many kinds of trees and root vegetables. At this time, the sweetest of the fig trees are producing about 20 figs a day. Enough to have no choice but to share with your neighbours. But no one shares grapes from the garden. Unless you produce wine, you have a limited amount of grapes. And again, they’re extremely sweet. The peach tree was ruined by maggots and the first pomegranates were prematurely burnt from the lack of rain in the spring and the extreme heat in the summer. Even here, people realise that global warming is a reality.
The pseudo-far left government has started promoting well water again by raising prices on water consumption. The problem is that they don’t help you install it. Nor is there any positive incentive other than the threat of paying more money.
Either way, we were brought back to our childhood when we only had well water at the farm or garden. It’s not difficult to use the water. It’s just difficult to water everything without getting a small workout.
And it was time for the sun to set. We drove the kilometre back home with plenty of fruit for everyone.
Mykonos is one place I’ve never been to but is already on my bucket list for next summer. And Mickael Casol’s villa, pictured above, seems like a great way to go.
Every May 21st, people from across the area come to celebrate the St. Constantine Festival from towns further away than Pylos and Methoni. I was told that the festival is a day long event that comes with pigs being butchered and fed to the pseudo-natives. This is the only day of the year anyone comes to Dileika (pronounced: dee-lay -ka). All the people with the surname Diles in Methoni will attest to their roots from this place that is now little more than an unofficial conglomerate of olive tree farms, with an odd thicket valley or grape field here and there. Many clan feuds have been waged over who owns what and there have been stories of people fighting over a single tree. So I decided to see what my potential olive oil future will look like, barring any clan fight. Perhaps that’s the only bright spot to my family becoming smaller and smaller.
Dileika is not far from Methoni. The road is mostly sand and rock and gravel and it would take a good level of agreement for 2 cars going in different directions to prevent an accident from happening. We ran into no one along the way. There was just farm after farm as what showed the most was the steep valley beneath as we slowly ascended up the mountain.
Half my olives would be fruitful this year. That’s a good thing, considering olive trees usually bloom fully every other year and had done so last year. We scouted the property a bit and then decided to go see the square surrounding the aforementioned church. It was near sunset and we had a beautiful view.
As is written, the church was erected at the end of the 19th century. In 1978, it was redone by the Diles families, which would be hard to pinpoint by whom exactly, since all the surnames in the village were Diles.
The picture above is a glimpse of the graves of the last 3 full time residents of the village. Fittingly, we drove off into the sunset. I sort of got a bittersweet feeling in the 15 minute drive back down to populated Methoni.
Koroni is the same distance from Kalamata as Methoni, but it is on the other side of the westernmost finger of the gulf, making it totally part of the Mediterranean. It is a city much bigger in population than Methoni, than with a seemingly smaller area and no beach within the town. It has a castle and is Methoni’s twin city. The only road easily accessible to a tired passerby is the main one by the sea.
We reached Koroni in the midday heat. It was very quiet. We wanted frozen yogurt and Gelato. We sat at a nice table about 1 meter from the side of the sea.
Some restaurants were preparing their evening menu, as seen above. Sounds like a traditional feast. There were no octopus hanging from their nets on poles as there had been in the past. There were too few real fish taverns. But the air was authentic Koroni.
Some restaurants even on a Byzantine theme. But there was no mistaking the amazing small mountain ranges on dangerous high risk turns that led to canyons on a bad turn. There’s beauty in them there hills.
But the uniqueness of Koroni will always be the waterfront street.