Exploring Kardamyli and Making Connections

Katerina knocked on our door this morning and presented us with two eggs from her chickens. They roam free in the olive grove below the studios . This is a perfect start to the day!

Our next stop after Kardamyli is Tyros in Arcadia. We plan to leave on Good Friday and are unsure whether there will be a reduced bus service or not.

Sotiris is going into Kalamata today and has told us he will ask at the bus station for the timetable to Tyros. This is a massive help as trying to find this information online is a big headache!

Kardamyli is the ideal place to relax and do very little except to wander around the pretty streets and drink coffee. Here, you can just be.

The village has around 20 artisan shops that sell beauty products made from organic olive oil, ceramics, 100% cotton clothing and of course an array of wonderful taverna’s and cafe’s. Kardamyli consists of one main street and pretty side streets that either offer you a view of the sea or vista’s of the mountains. One shop that we headed for is the Kardamyli Bead Shop, owned by expat’s Dave and Jill who had recommended Kardamyli to us as part of our trip – another contact made through Matt Barrett’s Travel Facebook Group. The shop is delightful and has a wonderful selection of handmade Kolomboi and jewellery as well as a selection of loose beads to purchase.

We spend the morning drinking tea in Kritamos across the road from the town hall with Dave and talking about – well – life! I have the utmost admiration for Dave and Jill for giving it all up in the UK to come and live in Greece. It has take a lot of determination and hard work to set up a business and establish themselves as part of the community.

Dave suggests that we visit the house of Patrick Leigh Fermor. Dave had met him on several occasions on the times that he walked into the village and by all accounts was a very lively character as his obituary in the Telegraph attests.

Patrick Leigh Fermor Obituary – the Telegraph

For the rest of the afternoon we walk along Kardamyli beach which is completely deserted apart from one dog walker. Spring flowers are scattered everywhere and have even self seeded in the sand.

To walk back to the studios from the beach there is a lovely walk through the olive groves. The only sounds we can hear are the rustle of the leaves and the clucking of the chickens.

Katerina is there to greet us when we arrive back – we are the only guests staying in the studios though they are fully booked for Easter. Katerina invites us into her apartment and shows us photographs of her late husband. She tells us that they used to live n Baghdad as her husband worked for a large oil company. Sotiris returned to Greece when he was 8 years old to go to school. Katerina shows us all of the other rooms in the studios – each are decorated in a unique style – all done by hand by Soritis who clearly has put his heart and would into each room.

This evening we decide to eat at Siros, another restaurant by the sea. Being by the sea is still very novel, and for someone that was born by the sea but has lived most of her life inland, I grab every moment I can to be close to it.

The meal is good Greek fayre and we appreciate the complimentary spoon sweets (glyko) and orange flavoured semolina cake called revani – very similar to the Egyptian basbousa.

Sotiris is back from Kalamata and tells us that unfortunately there is bad news – there is no bus to Diros on Good Friday. He tells us that that is a shame as the caves at Diros are spectacular. It was only as the conversation continued that we realised that Sotiris had been talking about Diros, South of Kardamyli and not Tyros in Arcadia! Anyway – it’s not a problem – Sotiris will make some enquiries by phone in the morning. We ask him about Patrick Leigh Fermors House and if he knows if it’s possible to visit. Again – not a problem – he is already on the case for us!

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