Mediterranean Odyssey 2019 travel blog

Avlemonas harbour

View from Mitata

Bunch of rellies

Another bunch of rellies

Today was planned as a shopping day in Hora. On waking, we watched a multi million dollar motor cruiser glide into the bay and dock.

After breakfast we drove to the main car park and walked down the steps to the bottom of the Platia. After posting some cards we spent a bit of time looking at tee shirts and other bits and pieces of a tourist variety, then made our way down where we saw Andreas- he said he would give us fresh figs down at the church, and said he would have more tonight.

We then walked below the Platia and on down to a shop selling manchester. J&C decided to get some new cushion covers - after some tooing and froing , a pattern was selected. In the shop, a lady sat quietly preparing beans and vlita for cooking. She was very pleased that J &C knew what vlita was.

A bit further down we went to Maria’s sweet shop. (A branch of the shop at the windmill from 2 days ago). J purchased some rosedes ( of course), and some for Andreas who had arrived with figs. K and S were interested in Fatourada (Kytherian liqueur). And the shop girl offered them a taste. J said he had forgotten what it tasted like, but no sample was forthcoming for him!

We were all shopped out, so we farewelled Andreas (having arranged to meet tonight at a relatives restaurant in Kapsali).

It was now after 12 so we decided to go over to Avlemonas on the east coast for lunch and a look around.we travelled on the less travelled road from Kondolianika. A narrow road through hilly and rugged country which eventually reached the coast at Paleopoli. Then it was a short drive to Avlemonas.

Avlemonas was the main port way back in Venetian times - it has a sheltered harbour in a jagged, black rocky volcanic coastal region, protected by a small Kastro ( a fort really!). It’s claim to fame is a lovely protected rocky cove popular for swimming. And today was no exception. We picked our favourite cafe. Which was crowded (for obvious reasons) - however we found a table. The cafe overlooks the swimming cove and many people were coming and going.

We enjoyed some cold and warm platters (actually we enjoyed the food on the platters!) and cool drinks. Without wishing to bore any readers, the platters included octopus, anchovies, stuffed peppers, pickles, dip, cheese, chicken, croquettes, and other tasty morsels. J had a frappe with ice cream which was greeted with some derision by others at the table.

Afterwards we walked to the harbour and took in the views. The street views were also postcard perfect with white buildings with blue trim and pink white and red bougainvilleas.

We started back towards Hora where we had arranged to meet a 1/4 Greek Aussie from Cooma for drinks and a chat. We had met in Hora and within minutes discovered he had been a long time friend of Olga , a daughter of our great uncle Dimitrios!

We drove over to Mitata where we stoped for views across the east of the island, and also the nearly destroyed Agia Triada church. Apparently Film director George Miller (harking from Mitata) spent zillions on restoring the church, only to have a major earthquake virtually destroy it in 2006. It still stands, but the 100mm+ cracks don’t bode well for its survival.

Next stop Stathianika , the Stathis village where the family “started” on the island. Narrow streets where we all had to breathe in to avoid the walls either side. A hornet decided to hitch a ride and a slight period of panic ensued. We then continued on toe Keramoto for a few more photos, then back to Kapsali via the Mini Market for provisions.

Then we relaxed with beer and wine with figs, and biscuits and our Cooma contact, Ray, joined us. He was an Aroney descendant. It soon became apparent that besides the Kytherian connections, he also knew a number of engineers that J knew from Hydro days. We had an enjoyable chat and have exchanged contact details for further communication.

By now it was time to walk down to meet Andreas for tea - we had arranged to meet near the mini market at 7. But he was there so we filled in time wandering along the foreshore . J noticed someone looking at us, and after a slight period of confusion, we realised it was Panagiotis of car hire fame. He came and greeted us and asked how our holiday was going. One of our party came up and said “that’s right, you’re the man who rented us a dud car!” This went down a bit like the proverbial lead balloon

Then Andreas appeared. And the fun started.

Firstly we went to the restaurant owned by the grandson of our Great Aunt Froso (Stathis). Before we got to meet anyone there, a lady in black came and started greeting us. We were a bit surprised, but more so when we realised it was Anna Stathis (widow of our 1st cousin once removed, Ioannis Stathis, who we met in 2015). But then a dark haired young many joined in - this was Manolis Stathis her son. He was very pleased to meet us. He is a music teacher and was very interested to hear that there were some musicians in our family. He said that our grandfathers violin had gone to his father, and now to Manolis’ daughter!

Then we met Anastassios Kassimatis ( the owner ) and his wife Maria. Anastassios is grandson of Great Aunt Froso. Handshaking and hugging all round. Lots of photo taking! Then a waiter came over - Panagiotis, their son. He was also delighted to meet us . More photos!

We had a great meal with Andreas, lovely food, and lots of talking. Before the meal, Andreas had given us a bag of figs, and a bag of tomatoes and eggs.

Then time to leave - where were the eggs and tomatoes. Everyone turned on C and said “where did you put them?” Blank look. Then the penny dropped - the bag of tomatoes and eggs had become the salad we had been served! Final farewells and we headed towards home. Andreas said he had to arrange someone to come down from Hora to lead him home as his bike headlights didn’t work. J offered to do the job, and Andreas headed home in the light of J’s headlights.

A busy day and we suddenly have many more relatives than yesterday! A day of “relativity”?

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