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.





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