Welcome to the latest in my series of posts about my holiday in Greece (May 12th to 19th). After the last postin which I gave the animals their due we resume our coverage of the Friday, having dealt with Dimitsana.
ON FROM DIMITSANA
Those of you who read my first postabout Dimitsana will recall that my mother was not well that day, necessitating changes to our plans, including an abandonment of our plans for lunch. Thus we decided that my father and I would make do with what we could find in Karytaina town, and we would stop on the way back to buy some good food for supper. Here are some introductory pictures:
My father and I did locate a place in the town serving food, but the sole merit of the meal was cheapness – neither the ham & cheese toastie nor the drink had any flavour at all. Having had lunch it was time for the ascent to the castle.
WATCHING TWO RIVERS
Karytaina Castle was built by the Franks in the 13th century, and its location was chosen because it commands a direct view of two rivers, the Lousios and the Alpheios, both of which flow all year round (most rivers in Greece do not). The ascent from the town to the castle is quite steep, although the path is fairly well maintained, so it is not unduly difficult.
THE TWO RIVERS
I finish with some pictures of the two rivers the castle overlooks (mainly the Lousios, but I did get one shot of the Alpheios as well):
The tannery at the open-air museum fo water power in Dimitsana.
In my previous post in this series about my week in Greece(May 12th to 19th) I wrote about the Open-air Museum of Water Power at Dimitsana, and stated that I was going give the tannery a whole post to itself, and here it is.
As well as containing everything used in pre-industrial leather making this section features a short video detailing the process in its entirety. To get from a batch of skins to leather from which stuff could be made would take a couple of months.
This is the centrepiece of a fascinating museum. The tannery is the second-furthest part of the museum from the entrance, with the gunpowder mill directly below it.
An account of the opn-air museum of water power in Dimitsana (apart from the tannery, which I am giving a post to itself).
Welcome to my latest post about my holiday in Greece (12th – 19th May). We are now dealing with the Friday, the centrepiece of which was to be a visit to the Open-air Water Power Museum at Dimitsana and a meal at a restaurant that serves meat from wild animals shot by the proprietor. This post deals with the Dimitsana section of the day apart from the tannery which I shall give a post to itself.
BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN
For Thursday night’s supper we had eaten pork chops, and my mother had failed to finish hers. This it turned out was the first warning of a stomach problem that would lead to a serious alteration of our plans for the day. Although she felt well enough to make the journey by about 10 o’clock, the restaurant meal was out of the question.
THE JOURNEY TO DIMITSANA
The journey from Tseria to Dimitsana is somewhat over two hours in duration. It involves quite a lot of scenic stuff but also one truly abominable eyesore, modern Megalopolis (to give you an idea of the sheer visual awfulness of the place its most prominent features are a pair of giant cooling towers). Little remains of the original city – some pillars from the theatre is about all one can actually see.
THE OPEN AIR WATER POWER MUSEUM
Dimitsana is a mountainside town, which means that going round the open-air museum involves going downhill and then back up at the end. The water was running more vigorously than it had been on my previous visit – perhaps because it was earlier in the year.
This museum is well worth a visit, and we were there on Museum Day, meaning that admission was free.
Welcome to the next post in my somewhat spread out series about my holiday in Greece. This post follows on from my post about Nestor’s Palace, in which you can find links to all my previous posts about this holiday. Unlike my previous posts in this series this one covers events from two different days, the Monday and the Thursday.
MONDAY: KARDAMILI AND TRACHILA
There were a few things to be done in Kardamili, including finding some sandals for me, and we decided havuing finished there to make the journey to Trachila, which is at the end of one of the roads beyond the resort town of Stoupa (the other, the main road, goes up into the mountains to Areopoli and then on into the inner Mani and down to very southern tip of mainland Greece). This was a pretty journey, and Trachila itself is very pleasant.
THURSDAY: STOUPA & AGIOS NIKOLAOS
On Thursday morning my mother was going to Stoupa for a “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch” session at Patriko’s, while I made use of their internet connection. Then we were going to walk along the sea-front to the village of Agios Nikolaos, have a light lunch at an establishment there that my parents knew, and then walk back to Stoupa before heading back to Tseria. This was deliberately a day on which we did not go on any major journeys as major excursions were happening on Wednesday and Friday.
Through a combination of work commitments and still having large numbers of photos to edit it has been a while since I posted, so just to remind people I was in Greece from May 12th to May 19th, and have so far produced five posts relating to that holiday:
Aperiftif – setting the scene for subseqent posts going into more detail about the holiday and various aspects thereof.
Whereas nothing at Methoni is above 800 years old, and most of it is around half that age (making it a youngster in terms of Greek sites) Nestor’s Palace at Pylos (about 15 kilometres from the modern town of that name) was in its pomp 3,300 years ago or thereabouts, which means that even by Greek standards it counts as old (although Gortyn on the island of Crete is about twice as old as even this). In an effort to preserve these remains a shelter has been built around the site, and part of this structure is a raised walkway from which visitors view the site – no walking round at ground level these days.
NESTOR’S PALACE IN PICTURES
It is now time for the combination of my camera and photo-editing skills to take over and give you a virtual tour of Nestor’s Palace…
SEA VIEWS FROM THE PALACE
Here are my remaining sea views from the palace itself…
A photographic of the main part of Methoni Castle, setting the scene for the Bourtzi of Methoni, the subject of the my next post in this series.
Followijng on from my last post which described the journey to Methoni this post covers the main castle, while my next post will deal with the Bourtzi of Methoni.
A VENETIAN MASTERPIECE
Methoni castle was first built by the Venetians in the 13th century, and then massively expanded when the retook possession of it from the Turks in the late 17th century. Here is some official information:
Setting the scene for the accounts of Methoni and Nestor’s palace.
On the Tuesday of my Greek holiday (Tuesday 15th May) we visited first the Venetian castle at Methoni and then Nestor’s palace at Pylos. This post sets the scene for the rest of that day by describing things up to the point at which we were poised to visit the castle.
We had intended to get underway by nine o’clock and we did. Although being in the back of a hatchback with small rear windows is somewhat limiting of what one can photograph I got a few shots as we approached our main destination.
THE AQUEDUCT CLOSE UP
I took full advantage of our brief stop…
THE FINAL APPROACH TO METHONI
We passed a scene that featured both good and bad…
The wind turbines on the hill are a positive sign, but the derelict shell of a building at the bottom is unfortunate to say the least. After parking in Methoni we passed the Venetial Well en route to a cafe…
At the cafe we were served water and decided to sample their chocolate crepes, which proved to be ill-advised. These were served in absurd quantities, and the principal covering was nutella. I realised after eating one of the three crepes I was served that I needed to scrape away the nutella before continuing with the others. Half way through the second I gave up, realising that trouble was in store if I continued eating the stuff. This decision came too late to entirely save me from adverse consequences, but at least meant that I only became a little nauseous rather than ever actually feeling or being sick.
Once we were all finished it was time to visit the castle, which will form the subject of my next post.
The beginning of full coverage of my holiday, starting atv the beginning with the journey to Tseria and the rest of that day.
Yes folks, after yesterday’slittle offering I am now able to start the story of my Greek holiday in earnest, and my usual logical fashion I am beginning at the beginning.
THE JOURNEY TO TSERIA
The flight to Kalamata (nearest airport to my parent’s house in Tseria) takes off at 5:40AM (the return flight leaves Kalamata at 12:00 Greek time, enabling the same crew to do both flights), which means that for a public transport user who lives in Norfolk the only way to get to the airport is to travel down the night before. I did this, arriving at Gatwick as planned just after 1AM, and making my way via the automatic monorail to the North terminal, where I waited landside until the EasyJet check in desks opened just after 3AM. An uneventful passage through security and I was safely airside and had about 90 minutes to wait for gate information to appear on the screen. I had had a beer landside, and now airside I had a bagel and a coffee while waiting.
There were equally few dramas boarding the plane. I had an aisle seat, which meant no chance of seeing anything through the windows (they are too small to be of use unless you are in a window seat) and also that I had to get up more often than would have been the case had I been in a window seat.
I had had the forethought to equip myself with plenty of reading matter. We landed at Kalamata fractionally ahead of schedule, a gain that was more than lost to slow baggage handling at that end. My parents collected me in their hire car, a nice sensible Skoda Citigo, very economical on the fuel, and suitably robust for handling rural Greek roads (which are much better than they were when I visited Greece in the early 1980s, but still a fair way from being describable as ‘good’).
Inspite of a sleepless night I managed to get through the day without napping and went to bed at a sensible time, following a meal at the new taverna that has opened in the village. It was good of its kind and I thoroughly enjoyed it.