Greece is the Word – Day Seven

Every evening I tell myself “I’m going to sleep in tomorrow” yet every morning I’m up as soon as the sun starts to come up. I can’t help it. I can hear movement outside, I knew the day is fresh and new and I just want to be a part of it.

It is no different here in Nafpaktos. We’re so close to the water we can smell that salty air and it’s so enticing.

We walked straight to the waters edge and continued along the coast to the area where the restaurants face the water. Even though it was early there were still people in the water or enjoying a cup of coffee at the tables.

I took a photo of the pebbles we were walking on. It looks so pretty and is so different to anything we have in Australia.

IMG_6751As part of our walk, we discovered this cute little bakery that made the BEST spanokopita.

That spinach filling was just so full of flavour and cheesy creamy. It was just delicious. We tried to go back for me to take on our journey today but she’d sold out. I almost cried real tears.

We took our spanokopita back to the beach area and found a bench to sit on while we waited for the rest of our group. As we sat there, a couple of cats started to gather round. Normally, when you’re at the beach with food it’s seagulls that start to circle you! Here it’s cats.

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And if you’re wondering, yes we did share with them. When they meow so tragically you IMG_6759really have no choice!

After a Greek Coffee or two, we did a bit of last minute Nafpaktos Tourist shopping before heading up to the castle once again. This time it was open!

It’s such an interesting place.
There’s tons of information on the internet if you’re interested but for us it was just something to think about the people who had walked the same steps we had walked in history. Thinking about when this was a working castle and the jobs people were doing.
There are also amazing views of the coast from up there and yes, it does seem as high up as it looks!


We left Nafpaktos and headed for a village where there was more family waiting to see us. The drive was going to take us through windy hilly roads again. I’m not a fan.

It’s gorgeous scenery though and the hills and mountains are dotted with wind turbines.
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It’s also not uncommon to be stopped by cattle… This happened to us more than once on our journey today!


We didn’t get to the mountain village until well after 4pm. Hubby hadn’t met his relatives before and it was all very special and emotional. We don’t speak Greek and only one of their party spoke English so the translating took a little while but it didn’t matter. It was lovely to spend the time together.
I took some photos from their balcony as the views they have are just breath taking.


They wanted us to share a meal with them so we stayed and talked about old times while eating what they had prepared. Most of what we were having had been grown on their land/property. Even the goat (I’m almost sad to say? Just quietly, it was soooo tasty!)

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This is by no means everything but there was Greek salad with home produce (the tomatoes were just so sweet!) potatoes, zucchini and feta cheese made from the milk of their own goats.

Everything was just too delicious! I ate way more than I should have just because I needed to taste more!

You may also notice the wine on the table, that was made by them as well.

Time was really moving on now and we were conscious of the long drive back to Athens, but they asked us if we wanted to see their farm. They had to go there to feed the animals.
How could we say no?

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We drove down a treacherous dirt path to get to it. I don’t know how these people use these roads every day…

Everything we saw at the farm was interesting and new.
From the goats to the cows with their baby calf.

We watched the cows feeding. I tried to take some photos but they moved back as we got close.

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Unfortunately hubby is allergic so we had to go and wait in the car but the kids in our group were able to watch the goats being milked and had a go at doing it themselves too! Now that’s an experience they wouldn’t get at school.

Again, the views from the farm are just breathtaking. I seem to be saying that a lot!


Everything took much longer than anticipated and we didn’t get back to their house until well after 10.30pm. They begged for us to stay rather than drive back down that awful road with minimum light but we just wanted our own beds and clean clothes so we left.

We didn’t get back to Athens until after 2.30am.

For the record, I have had my life time share of treacherous road driving.

And now, it’s definitely time for bed.
Kalinychta until tomorrow when hopefully, I will be sleeping in…

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Greece is the Word – Day Six

This morning hubby and I got up early and started walking this beautiful Port Town. We could smell the fresh sea air. We headed straight for the sea and took a few photos along the way. Every where we look seems like a postcard scene.

 


We had a coffee and made a couple of friends. The first was a lady working in a cafe who, just quietly, was a little scary looking at first. The type of woman who would suffer no fools (probably says more about us than her)
For example she came up to me and said “wifi?” in a gruff voice, asking if I wanted to use wifi. That was nice but it was almost like she’d said “you’re going to get wifi whether you want it or not”.
I said “Oh yes thank you” I replied and she just grabbed my phone from my hands and did it herself, all the while with a serious face. But by the time we left we were chatting away and I have to add the coffee we had there was so good! I’m starting to build a love for Greek Coffee.

Next stop was the supermarket and the woman there happened to be from Melbourne, Australia! So we chatted away and exchanged stories. She still has a strong Aussie accent but has been here in Greece for about forty years. now.

People in this town are just so friendly. They love to talk and love it even more if you love the things that are precious to them, such as their town and customs.

After breakfast we drove up to the Castle here. I was hoping to walk up to it. The walk is supposed to be a little grueling but I’d still like to do it. Maybe tomorrow.

The next pics were taken outside of our apartment. Look how narrow the streets are!

The first two above were taken from our apartment balcony.

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When we got up to the castle we found a sign that said it was closed on Mondays… and someone added “and any other day they don’t feel like opening”

I hope that’s not true!
I do expect it will be open tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

We managed to get some good photos from up there though and talked to some tourists from Vancouver who had also made the trip up there.

 

Next stop was hubby’s father’s home town. It’s a small village on a mountainside. It’s about fifty kilometres from Nafpaktos but takes about an hour and a half to get there because most of the way is on windy, hilly roads.

I don’t know how anyone would want to make this trek!! How do people choose to live in such places! We were so high up and the views were spectacular though.

We found this interesting church when we were almost at the town. It’s not used, but we just had to stop and photograph it when we saw it. We even found an open window and tooks photos inside. I hope we haven’t just put a curse on ourselves. There was something about it that was also eerie.

The town is so quaint but unfortunately we didn’t see another soul there. I took a couple of photos of the square. I would have loved to have seen it when it was alive with people.


And as we drove down, we shared the road with goats and cows. Both weren’t happy about having to share and certainly not in a hurry to get out of the way or off the road.

We drove down the death road – I was so happy to be back on flat land again – and decided to visit Patras. None of us had been there before so we didn’t really have a plan.
We crossed the Rio bridge paying the, in my opinion, exorbitant toll. Over thirteen Euro’s.
It was a pretty interesting looking bridge though.

We found a restaurant close to the water. It was a pretty place but unfortunately where we were, we had no views. They looked after us though and as always, the food was soo good. For the record, I wasn’t looking for Moussaka!


As we drove back over the bridge the sun was setting and the views over the water were really pretty. I tried to take some photos from the car.


I was really excited because our next stop was to catch up with a Facebook friend. We had connected recently because she is a distant relative and it was so nice to meet her in person and share a drink and some stories together.


Betty I hope we get to do that again soon! Thank you for your lovely company.

 

Greece is the Word – Day Four

This morning we woke up to cloudy skies and a wet ground but it was still fairly warm.
The plan was to drive along the coast to Sounio, and to see The Temple of Poseidon while we were there.

There are lots of beggars trying to get money from motorists by either selling something, offering to “wash” your windscreen, or simply by holding out a cup.
Here was one guy (above)  we encountered who was washing windscreens.
It’s a sad situation. There are so many that do it though so you’d have to think there are people that give them money? Otherwise why would they persist?

It was a beautiful drive down the coast.
There does seem to be a lot of graffiti about, no matter what part of the city we are in.

The weather cleared as we neared The Temple of Poseidon and it was even a little humid as we walked around there.
The Temple of Poseidon was rebuilt in 440BC. It’s just amazing to think this structure has been here for so many years!!

Here are a few photos we took of the Temple and views of the surrounding area.


That bird in the last picture is a “rock partridge”. At least, that’s what one of the guides told us! Noisy little things they are! The guide also said they’re considered the guardians of the Temple.

After an hour or so there we headed back towards an area just outside of Sounio where there were a whole lot of restaurants along the waterfront. The views were just gorgeous. This is Greece to me! Enjoying a beautiful meal, by the clear blue water with good company. It was such a lovely atmosphere.

As there were a few restaurants, we walked past quite a few but not before checking out their menu. We wanted to be sure we ate at the right place!
The owners would come out and try to entice us to come in. When we said we were just thinking about which one to go to, and they saw us leave, they actually got quite pushy and aggressive with one guy actually “suggesting” we move our cars (They were parked on the road almost in front of his restaurant.)

One person in our group has a severe seafood allergy so when we picked a place we thought we would eat at, we informed the server and explained that whatever was eaten could not even be cooked in the same oil that any seafood was cooked in.
He assured us that it was fine and that we had nothing to worry about. “You have nothing to fear” he stated.
Hubby, who was still looking over his shoulder at the owner from the last place we checked out whispered under his breath “the only thing we have to fear are the other owners if they see we’ve come in here”

Here are a few pics from inside the restaurant, and the water that we could see from our table. How clear and pristine is that!!


Oh and I should add that I tried to order moussaka again as I wanted to compare it to the other one I had here but guess what… although it was on the menu, it wasn’t available as they were still preparing it and it was going to take another 45 minutes!!! I swear this Moussaka curse is never going to be lifted!!

I ordered a bean dish instead and it was just so delicious!! Every dish I’ve had so far since we’ve been here has had so much oil! That has surprised me a bit. Maybe it just has to do with the food I’m ordering.

After lunch we stopped by a beach and enjoyed the sunshine. Such a picturesque little spot.

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We wanted to do a bit of shopping so we stopped at a mall  in the afternoon.

It was so like home that we almost forgot we were in Greece!!

So many familiar name brands wherever we looked…
Of course, that all changed when we went outside and tried to cross the road. Crazy drivers everywhere.

IMG_6397I had a double Greek coffee while I was there. I can say I’m a fan!

Our plan for dinner was to go back to Glifada seeing as we’re so close and it’s so beautiful there. I won’t post anymore pictures of it. It will only make you jealous!

I will share some pics of a 24 hour bakery we visited down there. I would have taken more but we were told “no pictures, it’s the policy” so I had to put my camera away

Hungry yet?

I’ll sleep tonight and dream of dodging traffic and going the wrong way on one way streets.

It’s all Greek to me!!