Mediterranean Odyssey 2019 travel blog

Early morning Kapsali

Windmill Kalokerinos


Sunday - very quiet when we awoke.

J saw a large motor yacht slip its moorings and sneak away. Then the sound of a champagne cork followed by chorus’ of Happy Birthday and 3 cheers.

A car arrived out the front and a man with shotgun and ammunition belt entered a flat.

J &C breakfasted on cereal, yoghurt ( thick enough to patch a plaster wall) and fruit, including a Kytherian melon ( beautiful citrus smell, green flesh) and milk. Btw, the fat content is 3.5% which is less than at home, but seems so much creamier.

We met at 10:30, talked briefly with Yiannis and Elisabeth, then headed north.

Firstly a drive aroundto the second bay with all the fishing boats. Then northwards to the ancestral town of Keramouto which was deathly quiet. Firstly, we visited the old Sotiros Christos church ( where J, K, S’s great grandfather was a priest). It is still under restoration but we will need to try and get a key to look inside. Then a cemetery visit to see the grave of Papa Giorgios Stathi and a number of other relatives.

Next we drove along to the ruins of the old family home. Here J, K, S leapt the stone walls and walked all around, and then by bush bashing, into the courtyard and rooms. Fig trees made the going tough. We spied the old kitchen and oven, but there were no old family photos still on the walls! K removed a rusty oil drum lid and discovered the water cistern - still with water in in and a suitably remarkable echo. Presumably this was fed from a spring. We documented as much as we could - large cracks on two adjacent walls indicated that the structure might have collapsed by the time any descendants visit in the future.

We drove on up to Pitsinianika and then to Kalokerines where we took in the views and the quiet. On the other side of town is a restored windmill - and free to enter. So we did. Spiral stone staircase leading to the mechanism and grinding stones. All the gear cogs are wooden. Great to see what our KALLIGEROS ancestors did for a living. Interestingly, the adjacent shop/ kitchen is run by Maria Kalligerou . We talked with her, tasted her excellent Rosedes ( for Rob’s benefit they are very moist!) and sampled her liqueur Faturada which is very good. She has stores in Livadi and Chora, so we will visit and sample mor soon!

C, K and S were starving so J reluctantly agreed to find somewhere for lunch. Into Livadi, and many places were now closed until evening. Vitsio was open so we had some great baguettes ( with a pile of crisps) and Freddos, and K had chicken. It was actually quite nice even though not “Greek” food.

Over the road we visited the oldest church on the island - still under restoration - Agios Andreas. The church has a first layer of Byzantine frescoes dating back to the 10th -11th century, a second layer from the 13th century and a third post-Byzantine layer from the16th century. Maybe one day we will see it finished.

Hottest part of the day so back to Kapsali for a drink and a cake - then a siesta. Maybe a swim at 6. Question- will we see the large Sea turtle again today? Let’s hope so.

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