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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The big smoke-s

A car trip to our two nearest cities, Argos and Nafplio.  Now just over an hour on the new road which cuts off the winding drive through the mountain villages and on the other new road, recently opened, which connects the ancient theatre of Epidavros with Mycenae, the military stronghold of the 4,000 year old Mycenean empire, both popular tourist stops.

Twenty minutes out is the Psifta lagoon, resting place for migratory birds, ducks, geese, sea birds and (drum roll) ... flamingoes.  

First stop

The city of Nafplio overlooked by the fortress of Palamidi

A quick stop to choose new glasses for the youngest member of the family

St Peters church

Another 15 minutes and we're at the city of Argos.  We stop to search out spare parts for a washing machine and carry out requests from friends and family.  Some have medical appointments.  All well there. 

No time for wine and a plate of real greek food.  Just a quick coffee and tiropita (cheese pie) break

Plenty of crumbs for the pigeons while we wait endlessly for the two grandaughters who take their sweet time using the 'ladies' and taking selfies in the big mirror 

When the grandaughters do finally appear they opt for take-away souvlaki with lots of gyro, tzatziki and fries wrapped in pita bread

 Larissa castle looming over the town of Argos.  Down in the town there are loads of ruins, ancient market place, theatre, Roman baths.  There are remains on every corner but too hard to photo from a moving car

Tiryns, between Nafplio and Argos.

Supposedly birthplace of Hercules, this ancient citadel has cyclopean walls and tunnels which are thought to have been made by giants.  The original fort dates back 7,000 years

Back in Nafplio we stopped at our favourite bakery 'Sugar and Flour' (Zahari kai Alevri) for bread, huge sourdough loaves, bagels, cheese sticks

 sticky cakes

and ice cream!

Just enough time for a quick shop-till-you-drop at LIDLS.  This is our days excitement.  Doesn't take much to amuse us hillbillies who see a large supermarket half a dozen times a year

And if the shopping gets boring then you can use those long aisles as a race track

Missed one car ferry and waited almost an hour for the next. 

 When I first arrived many years ago there were two car ferries working from both sides, leaving every twenty minutes.  The first change came with austerity.  We were down to one ferry every half hour.  Now it is every half hour in the morning when delivery trucks are bringing over supplies and from early afternoon it is every hour.

Well before the wetlands and the last village of Kalloni we are going flatout trying to reach the harbour before the ferry draws up its gangplank.  You can imagine the frustration of being caught behind some slow farm vehicle and reaching the quay just as the ferry pulls out.

Our last stop of the day is the petrol station to drop off a bag of spare parts for a friend.   The petrol station people know everyone of course and it is at the hub of the island, where the crossroads meet and  an ideal place to leave things to be picked up by other locals.
Duty done, we climb up the mountain road to unload our one little bag of groceries and have a glass of wine (and raki).


  1. We use Lidl a lot for our food shopping and I always head for the middle aisles. I call it my garden centre. I think it's improved a lot and there are lots of European food on offer these days.

    1. It is the only supermarket that has Indian and Chinese stuff plus as you say European food which is not available elsewhere....unless you live in Athens.

      I also buy cheap tins of capuccino (they cost four times the price in a greek supermarket, for a different brand), dark chocolate, german sausages, real butter at half the price, oh and a whole lot of other stuff. I keep a list of what LIDL has that I cant buy elsewhere.

    2. ha ha we go there for these things as well. You can buy poppadoms that need cooking.


    3. Poppadoms, yum. Havent bought them in a while. On the list they go!

  2. I love reading about the places I have seen. Makes me want a holiday in Greece!

    1. Wait a little. Sunshine this morning, damp and raining right now!!

  3. Me too.The best gyro that i ever ate was in Greece,years ago.

    1. 10 more days and we can eat Gyro. Not meat till Saturday. Mind you, I can eat whatever I want but guzzling souvlaki in front of non meat eaters at the moment is a bit nasty.

  4. You really do live an interesting life over there in Greece. It must have been quite an adjustment for you once, many years ago. I have never been to Greece would you believe!

    1. Different for sure. Sometimes I long for 'normality'. A bit of the British homeland would be soothing to the soul. Tea and cucumber sandwiches (with the crusts cut off ) at 4pm...about now.

  5. Sounds like an action packed day. I was exhausted just reading it lol
    Enjoy your rest now

    1. It's only an hour and a half trip but we left at 8.30am and got back at 7.30. Darn long day, hopping from one 'job' to another.

  6. Lidl fans here, too. We like the prices and we like the products. 'Sugar and Flour' is also my kind of shop, surprise, surprise!
    I felt the stress of your race to the ferry, but enjoyed your description of the petrol station and the last weary leg of your journey home. You deserved those drinks.

    1. Yes, we did a lot of errands. Altogether a very successful day and quite satisfying even with only one bag of shopping. But a very long day. You need to unwind after all that excitement. LIDLS, yeh. We had a store just across the waters but for some strange reason it closed down. Can't understand, it was always busy