Mediterranean Odyssey 2019 travel blog

Near Diacopoulianika

Agia Nikolaos

Towards Lagada beach

Today we decided on a visit to Karavas.

When J&C arrived for breakfast there was a strange lady with K&S. Irene who used to teach with S in Sydney. Turns out she is connected to us (way back) and knows our American cousin Vikki well. Small world again!

First of all we headed out on the road to Karavas - past a lot of quite new hotels and resorts, and up a wide but windy road. It is a short drive and as we entered Karavas we spied the bakery we had heard about. It’s a big bakery, specialising in rusks- a traditional Greek staple. Except that they do them in many flavours - aniseed, honey, herb, feta, olive, and many more. C purchased some sesame biscuits. The place is part museum too with many of the original pieces of equipment still there - overhead shafts and wheels and belts, grinding stones, presses, and so on. Very interesting and tasty.

Next we took the narrow and heart stopping drive down to Amir Ali which is in a steep sided gorge. Here are numerous springs, and a rivulet. We did the walk down to the main spring , dodging thorny branches hanging over the path, and (according to J) keeping an eye out for subtracters (adders!)

It is a cool and green space, with many leaves jut starting to change. Ducks and geese live here, and there are some old and quaint buildings and a cafe. There are a number of banana trees in fruit!

Back up the narrow access road we went with a small clearance either side and a hairpin bend and blind corner. Luckily no one was coming the opposite way! We photographed the surrounding steep hills, covered in ancient stone terraces, and with many shells of old houses that had been vacated and never used again.

We noticed a white church on a hill and searched for a way to it. More than once meeting a fast taxi coming towards us.they stopped and pulled over or reversed back and waved and shouted Yieasas. Not once have we seen any form of road rage, or any issues with parking anywhere. Everyone is very tolerant. Perhaps they realise everyone is probably related!!

Getting to the church, we fanned out to search graves - some Tzortzopoulos graves that may be related. It’s quite interesting - most graves are crypts, large and small. Many quite impressive in white marble, often it’s photos, and sometimes with statues of the deceased.

Over the hill and through a memorial arch and a right hand turn took us up a ridge line to Diacopoulianika - home to Diacopoulou families ( maternal great grandmother’s clan) . The currently used houses sit beside ruins and piles of rubble from earlier homes. We planned to do a loop but the road was quite rough and not really suitable for a small car weighed down with 4 adults.

We were getting peckish so we headed towards Potamos, stopping at Agia Anastasios to check out the graves. Into Potamos and a table in the platia for a light lunch of sandwiches ( ie toasted baguette style bread with fillings). The European wasps drove us nuts. I guess that one advantage of Brexit will be that pommes won’t have to put up with them for much longer!

A bit of shopping as K needed a brass knocker shaped like a hand, so she bought one! It was only small, so J suggested it could go on the toilet door. The shopkeeper said it would depend on the size of the queue.

A return to Christoforianika to check a building( subsequently a non event) and then back to AP for a siesta. However, we saw a sign pointing towards beaches down the coast, so we had a look. Firstly finding a small church Agia Nikolaos perched on the edge of the rocks near the shore, and it was open. So for the first time we got to see the icons and other religious accoutrements in a small church rather than a large church or cathedral. A bit further and we could see the beach with umbrellas and deck chairs. A bit closer there were some nudy rudy people sunbaking ( or so J was told as he was hustled away)

Then a siesta with J doing some research and after exchanging messages with cousin Vikki, found out about a cemetery and church related to his ancestors that will need further investigation tomorrow.

Tea was had at Kaleris, and we shared some appetiser plates which made for a nice meal. Snake beans, tzadziki, bread, spinach pies, risotto, zucchini patties, with some drinks. complementary cake was provided at the end. We were a bit early eating compared to many, and the musos just started the live music as we left.

The few spots of rain didn’t amount to much and the stars are out.

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