Out and About in Loutraki - a Walk in the Park - Peloponnese - Greece


Loutraki park
Loutraki park

 Finally, after five days of rain, we have sunshine, I've missed my daily walks, 
so, join me for a stroll around Loutraki, and later, we'll stop for coffee at the trendy, "Kolonaki"  bar - cafe.

Loutraki center, is about a twenty minute walk from our house, from the end of October, after spending all summer on the beach, until late spring, this is my daily walk, through the town, into the park, a 'coffee stop', and home.

The park, named Park Irine, sandwiched between the sea and the main street, located in the older part of Loutraki, is built on reclaimed land, after the terrible earthquake of 1928, rubble from destroyed buildings, was used, to create what is now a lush, green, haven of  magnificent eucalyptus, pine, palm, oleander and jacaranda trees.


Palm and eucalyptus trees Loutraki Park
Palm and eucalyptus trees
Loutraki Park

A shady walkway in Loutraki Park
A shady walkway in Loutraki Park

Sea view from Loutraki Park
Sea view from Loutraki Park

 In summer, when the oleander and jacaranda are in bloom, it's a riot of deep pink, white and vivid blue-purple 

It's so calming to rest a while, on one of the strategically placed benches, in the cool shade of the trees, and gaze out to sea.


Pigeons- Loutraki Park
Pigeons - Loutraki Park

Most days, Melina, my three year old Granddaughter, accompanies me, these are the best days, how she amuses me, what joy she finds in the most simple, mundane things, which we adults, with our busy lives, choose to ignore.


Spa water- Loutraki Park
Spa water- Loutraki Park

 For Melina, the best thing in the whole wide world, is to feed the pigeons or have fun on the swings and slides, or to splash around in the thermal spring water, dispensed from a  tap, found at the far end of the park, where people gather to fill bottles, and take home this healing water, hoping to cure or prevent ailments.


Mother and child
Mother and child

 Melina and I, invariably head to the far end of the park first, this is where the swings are to be found, then, after a quick splash at the tap, we wend our way back, stopping to say good morning to a mother and her child, a statue,  which  dominates  the main square of the park, by sculptor Nikolas Paulopoulos 1909-1990

On March 25th, Greek Independence Day, and on October 28th, OXI DAY, wreaths are placed at the foot of the statue, in hounour of those who fought, and those who gave their lives for Greece.


General Dimitris Koliopoulos Plapoutas Fought in the Greek War of Independence Loutraki
General Dimitris Koliopoulos Plapoutas
Fought in the Greek War of Independence
Loutraki

Melina and I, leave mother and daughter, to bid good morning to
  General Dimitris Koliopoulos Plapoutas, who fought in the Greek war of independence.

For some reason, known only to Melina, she  loves this statue best, she stands Solemnly in front of the statue and politely says, "Good morning Mr Plapoutas"

 We move on, we are not finished with our good mornings yet.


Goat sculpture by Irine Pramondioti 1918   Park Irine Loutraki
Goat sculpture by Irine Pramondioti 1918
 Park Irine Loutraki

Our next good morning is to this sweet little goat, donated to the park in 1918 by sculptress Irine Pramondioti, now this is what I was sure Melina would love best, but no, Mr Plapoutas takes first place in her heart.


Greek resistance monument - Park Irine Loutraki
Greek resistance monument - Park Irine Loutraki

A short way further on is our last monument of the day,  in memory of the Loutraki soldiers of the Greek resistance, killed in WWII,whose names are inscribed on the plinth.


Democracy - Justice  - Peace Memorial for the fallen brave men of Loutraki WWII Sculptor Leontis Eustathios
Democracy - Justice  - Peace
Memorial for the fallen brave men of Loutraki WWII
Sculptor Leontis Eustathios

The monument depicts three statues, by sculptor, Leontis Eustathios.

The statue atop the plinth, represents peace, the two on either side are, left, Justice, and right, Democracy.

On the front of the plinth is an inscription, a quote from Homer:

'εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος, ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης'

Translated to English this says:

'There is only one omen
To fight for one's country.'


Backgammon
Backgammon

Now we have visited the "stone people", it's time to wish good morning to the Loutraki  backgammon contingent, all men, I must say, I've never seen a woman among them!

Melina knows them all, however engrossed they are in their game, they always have time to chat to Melina, and were quite honoured to have their picture taken. 


Kolonaki Coffee Shop Loutraki
Kolonaki Coffee Shop
Loutraki

Finally, it's coffee time, we head across the road to the Kolonaki coffee shop, popular with the younger Loutraki locals, but, you know what they say, 'you're as young as you feel'!

Petros, the owner, is very proud to have his bar, 'Kolonaki', featured in one of the best Greek architectural magazines, 'Greek Architecture Gr.'

I finish my coffee, and Melina her orange juice, time to head home, which takes double the time when iIm with Melina, as she stops to say good morning to all and sundry.





Life in Greece as an Expat - Interview for expats Blog

Loutraki beach Greece
Loutraki beach Greece


A question I am frequently asked, by both Greeks and foreigners, is

 "Do I like living in Greece?"

My answer is always the same, in one word "Yes!"

It's been so long now, since I left England, nearly forty years, I forget that I'm an "Expat"!

So, when I was asked by Expats Blog about my life in Greece, I really had to think of my

 life as an expat and not as a Greek!

"expatsblog" is such a useful site for anyone relocating, or thinking of relocating, to another country, tips, forums and a mine of information.


A network allowing you to meet up and get to know other expats in countries all over the world.

A real help, especially in the early days of being in any new country.



I love Greece, the people, the climate, oh the Mediterranean climate, it makes life so much easier!

For about eight months of the year we more or less live outside in our garden.


Garden Loutraki Greece
Our garden Loutraki


Most days, from April/May and onward, up until about the October, our meals are eaten

"Al Fresco"


Sunrise
Sunrise over Loutraki


I'm so lucky to see amazing sunrises each  morning, never the same, always something to gaze at in wonder, summer or winter.


Trusty bicycle
My trusty bicycle and me


My old, but trusty bicycle, gets me out and about, otherwise I walk, the town of Loutraki is only about fifteen minutes away.

 Mondays and Saturdays, I look at what gorgeous fresh produce our local street market has to offer.



Loutraki street market
Loutraki street market
  

Maybe I'll buy some thing extra nice for MGG's (My Greek God) lunch.

Lunch is our main meal of the day, as is the norm in Greece, sometimes it's just MGG and I,

 other times the whole family, with my little Granddaughter, Melina, being the star of the show!


Family lunch
Family lunch


When it becomes too chilly to be on the beach, which I love with a passion by the way,

 I'll take a stroll to the picturesque tiny harbour, watch the fishing boats returning with their

 day's haul. 


 Of course Greece has bad weather, but, those days are few and far between, usually it's 

sun and blue skies.


Loutraki harbour
Loutraki harbour



We might drop in at our favourite "ouzeri", for ouzo and meze, those delightful little plates of

 of sea food.



Have some grilled octopus
Have some grilled octopus !


I love my Greek life, I feel Greek!

 When people ask me where I am from, it surprises me. (without hearing me speak, because, of course I have a foreign accent).

 I forget I'm not a true local!

 "Do I look foreign?" 

 I don't feel it at all !



Loutraki bay taken from Edem taverna
Loutraki bay taken from Edem taverna



Just look at this view of Loutraki bay I took from the Edem taverna!


Isn't Greece a beautiful place to live?




My Greek God(MGG)
My Greek God (MGG)

I'm so glad I met My Greek God!

“A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants.” 

Lawrence Durrell from 'Justine'





Celebrating the life of a different Dimitris - The Loss of a Friend

Kefalonia
Kefalonia


Today, October twenty sixth, while Greece celebrates the name day of Saint Demitrios - Patron Saint of Thessalonikiam celebrating the life of another Dimitris.



Dimitris
Dimitris

Dimitri is one of our oldest friends.

I met him the first year  I was here in Greece, 1977, 
we met because we had the same car, a khaki green Mini!

The only two in Korinth!



Friend Dimitris
Dimitris


After training as an architect in Belgium Dimitri returned to Athens, then worked a while in Korinth, where we lived in the same block of flats.

What laughs we had, Dimitri had no television so every Sunday evening we would watch "Fame" together, remember "Fame"?



Dimitris
Dimitris


Dimitris with his pride and joy - his car!
Dimitris with his pride and joy - his car!


Dimitris lived on the top floor, we were on the fourth, he would shout down to us through the air shaft, he had the whole place in an uproar.

A lunatic but such a lovable lunatic, don't they say that the best people are crazy?

With Dimitris, it's true.




Dimitris loving life.
Dimitris loving life.


It was a treat to see the way Dimitris hung out his washing, instead of wringing things out, he just whacked them on the railings before pegging them on the line.

  It was a sad day for us, when Dimitris  discovered the magical Island of Kefalonia, one of the Ionian Islands, and left Corinth, our apartment block became rather quiet.




Dimitris and his Zodiac
Dimitris and his Zodiac.


Dimitris upped sticks, left everything, built a house and made his life in Kefalonia, which meant we took a lot of trips to visit him, what wonderful times we spent together on that magical island.



Dimitris and me.Kefalonia
Dimitri and me in Kefalonia


Kefalonia
With Dimitri in Kefalonia

What a life in Kefalonia, paradise!

Dimitris has shown us the best beaches, the best tavernas, the best coffee shops and made his home ours when we were there.

 Such hospitality.


Me with Dimitri


My birthday.Kefalonia
Celebrating my birthday with Dimitris in Kefalonia.



Kefalonia Greece avithos beach
Tassos and Dimitris, Avithos beach Kefalonia,.



Dimitri loved Kefalonia, he was never going to leave, it was in his soul



Dimitris and me.Kefalonia,above Myrtos beach.
Dimitri and me above Myrtos beach,Kefalonia.


We saw Dimitri at the end of last winter.

Dimitri died suddenly in the spring.

He died in his beloved Kefalonia and that is where he is.

Dimitri got his wish, he never did leave Kefalonia.

Happy name day Dimitri, fly high!
xxx



Not alone, he's right behind me.
Not alone...he's right behind me!!!

There he is, behind me.
 Can you see him?
There he goes, flying high.

Read about more Saints of The Greek Orthodox Church below:







Just Another Day in My Greek Life



On a Greek Beach
On a Greek Beach


Each glorious day now, in Greece, a day where the weather permits me to go to the beach, is a gift.

A gift because we are nearing the end of October and who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Not only weather wise, who knows what life will bring, so go out and live it!

Savour every thing, no matter how insignificant it seems, the best things in life are the simple things, the "Every day things", the smell of basil and jasmine in my garden, the taste of a juicy red tomato, the sound of the sea, even MGG's grumpy face when he gets up in the morning!

He might be grumpy but he's here!

 He's better after his first double 'stretto' espresso.

He's not a morning person!



MGG(My Greek God)
MGG (My Greek God)


 How happy I was when I awoke this morning to blue skies;

 perfect!


Blue skies
Blue skies


Before I left home, for the beach,  MGG arrived with shopping, he had bought me basil!

The winter type of basil plant.

 My summer stock has long since run out. 

I'm already thinking of the tomato salad I shall prepare for lunch, tomatoes from our friend Niko, tomatoes that still taste like a tomato should, the best in loutraki!

 By the way, the basil was also from Nico.

Our olive oil also comes from Niko, from his own trees, he takes his olives himself to the olive press, beautiful!

I think Niko should hire me as his PR!


MGG's shopping, basil plant, eggs, almonds and apples
MGG's shopping, basil plant, eggs, almonds and apples.


Greek olive oil
Greek olive oil


MGG passed by while I was on the beach, only passing though, MGG prefers  beaches miles from anywhere, only accessible by boat.

He  took a few pics of me, most I had to delete, nothing to do with MGG's photography skills, I just hate myself in most photos.

These I considered passable!


Loutraki beach
Loutraki beach

The last days of October
The last days of October


Carpe diem!
Carpe diem!


Walking home from the beach I noticed a sign that had missed my eagle eye, well, it was rather tucked away:

" Sea shell apartments"

 How nice is that?

They are situated on Poseidon road.

The Address sounds like something from a children"s book.



Sea shell apartments,Poseidon road.
Sea shell apartments,Poseidon road.


The little rough track I walk down to the beach is called Syros road, Syros being a beautiful Greek Island.



Syros road
Syros road


Our house is on Athens boulevard, Leoforos Athinon, I quite like the sound of that!



Me on Athens boulevard
Me on Athens boulevard


The best street sign I have seen though has to be one I saw in Florence, Italy.

The corner of hell and purgatory, imagine having that as your address!



The corner of hell and purgatory.Florence.Italy
The corner of hell and purgatory.Florence.Italy


Obviously they must be named after the Divine comedy, written by Dante Alighieri who was born in Florence.

While we're on the subject of names, I have acquired a new one from my Granddaughter Melina.

Most Greeks call me Susie, Susaki, Suzanne or Suzanna, they just can't get the hang of Susan for some reason.

 When they do call me Susan, it is without the N, as when speaking to someone directly, in Greece the last letter is knocked off the end, Tassos becomes Tasso, Yiannis becomes Yianni and so on.

Susan becomes Sousa, which in Greek means a wheelie, like my Son does to scare me, or a horse rearing up on it's hind legs!



My Son Johnnie scaring me to death
My Son Johnny, scaring me to death

So just call me Susie!

Anyway, my granddaughter Melina calls me Yia Yia (Grandma in Greek) Susie, now though I am Suzuki!

I'm sure she picked this up from my Son who is bike, car, anything with an engine, anything that goes fast, anything to scare Mum, mad!

Suzuki, Sousa, same difference!

All the way home from the beach I thought about the salad I was going to have, I was starving!

 The sea does that to you!
Here it is...


Tomato and pecorino salad
Tomato and pecorino salad

Niko's superb tomatoes, shaved pecorino cheese (I ''shave"it with a potato peeler!) Nico's olive oil and basil, freshly ground black pepper, coarse sea salt and balsamic vinegar.

What can be simpler than that and it was delicious.

I could eat this salad every day, in fact I think I do.



Simple, natural ingredients, olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.
Simple, natural ingredients, olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.


Another perfect thing to add to this perfect day is my new Umberto Ecco book.

 So far  "Foucaults Pendulum" has, in my opinion, been his best.

 Let's see if  "The mysterious flame of Queen Loana" can surpass it.



Books by Umberto Ecco
Books by Umberto Ecco


See how such simple things make the perfect day?

All you have to do is appreciate what you have.

30 of the Most CREEPIEST and HAUNTED Places in Greece - Dare You Visit - Photos & Videos

Salem Mansion Thessaloniki Photo used as a poster for hit American TV Show, American Horror Story' Photo by Alexander Hadji ...

Take a peek at my most popular posts.