We visited the small fishing village of Kardamali at the base of the Taygetos Mountains. We stayed in a small hotel and our room had a balcony just big enough for the two of us to have a cozy picnic at a tiny table. We ate ripe cherries, figs, delicious cheese, smoked meats, yogurt, and fruit juice we purchased ourselves at the market just down the road. The stairs to our room were surrounded by flowers.
We had fun poking around town on our own, since the tour plan gave us a relaxing day of free time there. We stumbled upon the church on the right as we explored the town.
We slept late and spent a lot of time relaxing, but eventually decided to hike along an ancient Roman trail nearby to the top of some hills behind the town. The climb was a lot of work, but thinking about all the people who had followed that trail for thousands of years made every step meaningful. The view at the top was impressive, but most interesting was the tiny old church and rectory, seen through the gate at left, at the top of the path.
On the way down, we passed a field of old, old olive trees, then walked behind a cluster of houses and came upon an old woman tending her garden. She smiled at us and asked us, in Greek, a question. Our Greek vocabulary included only polite greetings and words for food, but by smiling, pointing, and watching her gestures, we figured out that she was asking where we were staying. We mentioned our hotel and she gave a big smile, and it was clear that she approved. We pointed to ourselves and said "Americans," and "kalisperasas" (good evening). She seemed pleased at this, and as we were saying our goodbyes, she stopped us, gathered some flowers from her garden, and presented them to us. We will never know her name, but making this connection with her almost brought us to tears. We put her beautiful flowers in a vase in our hotel room and enjoyed them for the rest of our stay.
Next, the rugged Mani.
Intro > Delphi and Kalavrita > Olympia > Kardamali > The Mani > Monemvassia > Gythio and Nafplio > Mycenae and Spetses > Athens