For those seeking something different than the wild Mykonos nights and crazy Santorini days and have had enough of sweating in the city between landmarks, then consider visiting Methoni in late spring. It’s a perfect time to just relax and hear the sea waves in the heat of the day and enjoy sleeping under your blanket with the backdrop of the waves. It is a place to ponder. To lose your anxiety. To regain your creativity. It is a time to empower yourself. It’s a time to live amongst the villagers than with the rest of the tourists. The temperature is warm but not hot and you will be amongst the first to enjoy the beaches of the new season.
These are the relatively deserted streets as you enter the fork on the road where the town begins. Left for the beach and right for the market.
What better way to discover old ruins. This used to be part of the discotheque I frequented many moons ago. It was built on church land and there was a whole commotion as to why the priest had allowed the construction to happen. I took the pic, sat down, and looked towards the beach nostalgically. I can feel the humidity on one shoulder and the cool mist on the other. I couldn’t figure out where the crucifix on the ground had come from.
The chairs on my favourite little hangout by the beach were not yet for hire. The cantina on top was not yet open. Officially, the town as seen through foreign eyes was closed. I turned around the corner and saw 3 nudists. They were British and I later found out were year -round residents of the town. They were weird, the townsfolk gossiped. They were some kind of naturist yoga crusaders.
It was after this point upon another turn where nudism was allowed without fear of more than gossip. I took my first dip in what was a very challenging swim. The water was heart -attack cold. The Methoni water is much colder than anywhere else in the area. It is an open space where the Ionian sea sort of turns into the Mediterranean. The beach is in the Mediterranean whereas the deep Ionian waters are deep and good for fishing and scuba diving. There are even some coral reefs to visit for the good swimmers.
As this bad swimmer came out of the water, he started reading his latest poetry writings trying to get some creativity back. But you can’t force creativity. Yours truly was hoping the sea would be his muse. He wanted those hedonistic years of the past to show on the pages. What was coming across was frustration. So I picked up and read some Bukowski, hoping to see the versatile simplicity in his writing as some kind of light at the end of the tunnel.
Finally, it was the isolation of this stone in new waters that started taking me out of my rut. Yes, things had an end. And so did my book. It was to be given unedited.
Behind these rocks were a plethora of nudists. They spoke English and German. The stones were a byproduct of the continued erosion of the beach during the wind. You could and can still see it in the fairly quick disappearance of the dunes. In many places, the tide is higher every year. In most places, the sand on the beach seems wet almost all the time. Since the fall of Greece, perpetuated by the EU, there has been absolutely no money for infrastructure of any kind. Except for highways for the Germans to drive more comfortably on.
This little churchhouse is part of the old cemetery facing the beach as you walk closer to town from the aforementioned spot. The temperature is cool enough to give it a visit.
I lit a candle and admired the stain glass windows. The inside looked as good as new. There were still some unturned graves in the garden. They would eventually all be part of the new cemetery about a 10-minute walk down the next road. As a child, I remember my grandmother taking me to funerals here. I had never noticed the beach because I guess I was used to it.
5 minutes later, I was having my double Greek medium at my favourite café. Locals there again.
Going to Methoni in May helped me meet the townsfolk, expats, and new citizens from other countries. It stabilized me to practice empowerment. Although a while ago, things don’t change much in this town of 2000. Thank goodness for that.