Porto Heli Day Three

6 October

Today we decided to rent a car and drive to Ermioni, about 20 minutes away. The main reason was to get to the open market/bazaar Chris told us about that happens there every Thursday. The other reason was that Ermioni was our next destination and we wanted to get a peek at it.

The rental car was a Fiat Panda, with stick shift of course — I had not driven one of those since we were in France in 2005. It was a cute car and really easy to handle, and there were no hills to climb, so the drive went well. And I found a parking space in Ermioni right away, though I had been warned that might be difficult.

The market/bazaar was like one of our farmer’s markets on steroids. Most impressive were the fish stands, Chris had told us. We were sorry not to be able to take advantage of that offering as we did not have the means to prepare it, but did get some wonderful tomatoes, grapes, and apples to bring back to our little kitchenette.

The bazaar part was like a flea market here, mostly consisting of clothing but with household and miscellaneous items as well. It was incredibly hot that day and stifling in the marketplace, so we left that and had some freddo cappucino (iced) in a cafe-bar then went for a walk in search of our next accommodation.

We found Philoxenia Gannosis, a lovely building with street floor apartments and second floor studios. The third floor is the home of the owners. An English woman named Julie greeted us and let us view our unit — a studio with a view of the sea to the left and a forest on the right. We were very impressed and couldn’t wait to be staying there.

Then we walked around the corner to the other side of the peninsula to find our lunch destination. Although a fish taverna called Kaboz had been Chris’ recommendation, we stopped at one just before that called Tsieris because the outdoor seating area was so inviting. The owner was a very personable young man who gave us information about driving in the area, which was very helpful. In answer to our question about the octopus hanging on a rack outside the taverna, we learned from him that it was octopus season and that they were out in the sun to dry.

We had yet another fabulous lunch as we took in the amazing views of the sea. There were no beaches, just rocks leading down to the crystal clear, calm water, which fascinated us. There are many sets of stairs in the rocks, mostly of cement through some were carved in the rocks, and that was the only way to get to the sea in that area.There were a number of people engaged in conversation while bobbing in the sea, which was also fascinating.

We decided to drive back by the seaside, which Chris had warned us could be tricky. He had told us of a couple of intersections to be careful of, but of course we went down those roads. One thing we had not counted on was that the few street signs that we found were printing in the Greek alphabet only! Fortunately Bob has excellent navigational skills and found out way out of the maze.

After returning the rental car, we decided to eat in and stopped at the supermarket to pick up groceries. We found (with the help of a clerk that spoke English) what we thought was sausage but turned out to be a sausage-shaped meatball. Following an ouzo apperitif and snacks on our little deck, Bob grilled that along with fresh vegetables for a delicious entree, along with a Greek salad, rusk and our spreads. And local wine, of course.

Though we had bought a citronella candle and mosquito repellant to ward off an invasion like the previous night’s, we opted to eat inside and make it an early evening. There was one TV channel that carried very old reruns in English, which easily put us to sleep.

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