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We return to Paralia Dionisiou via Stageira

Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 09 June 2016

Thursday 09 June, we return to Paralia Dionisiou via Stageira

Would you maybe have a look at our computer before you leave? I often get that question on vacation when they know that I do 'something' with computers. Sure, I am always willing to help and luckily I usually get the problem sorted out even though a Greek keyboard is awkward for me. At highschool I did have lessons in old Greek but that is already more than 30 years ago. But I fix the problem and we are ready to leave. We once again thank them for the (much too sweet) baking we got last night (which we have not eaten) and then go on our way, back to the west. We have all the time, so we avoid the highway.
Image in the museum of AmfipoulisAt Amfipoulis we follow the sign to the Archeological museum. As soon as we enter, we are almost shouted at (first in Greek, of course) that we have to buy the tickets at that counter. With a surly gesture we are then sent into a direction. And while we look at the interesting texts and findings from this area, we are closely and even annoyingly followed by 2 attendants. As if we are known criminals who walk through a bank vault. You would almost feel like doing something unpleasant, like accidentally knocking over something. In the last room we have had it, it becomes too annoying, and we walk outside. Then suddenly someone comes after us who tells us that we can also go to the lion's gate and other things in the area. Too late lady, we are all done with you. The arrogant faces of Greek (semi-)officials who think they are indispensable and that you should not contradict them. The Greeks themselves (who are not civil servants) think the same way, we hear regularly.
The beach at Stavros The village of OlympiadaWe now follow the coast and get to see beautiful beaches once in a while. In the east we have seen far fewer beaches than elsewhere in Greece, which was striking. At Stavros, north of Olympiada we take a break on a terrace along the beach, maybe we'll go sunbathing later somewehre on a beach, we have not done that for a week. We can of course also go looking for gold because there are a number of gold and other metal mines in this area and recently gold has been found again. Chalkidiki is rich in minerals and it is estimated that billions of euros would be hidden in the ground.
Walking up to antique Stageira Tower at ancient StageiraBut we drive a few kilometers further, to antique Stageira, the birthplace of the famous philosopher Aristotle, who was, among other things, the pupil of Plato and the tutor of Alexander the Great. There is a single information sign along the road and access is free, but it is an extensive excavation with lots to see. The village is built on 2 hills on a small peninsula and the views are beautiful. Until the Byzantine era there has been a flourishing settlement here, but not continuously.
Water well at Stageira View from the hill of StageiraThe city was founded in 665 BC. by settlers from the island of Andros but was conquered and destroyed in 348 BC. by Philip II of Macedonia. But to thank him for the education that Aristotle gave to his son, he had the city in 340 BC. rebuilt, released the enslaved population and allowed them to return to Stageira. Just 2 weeks ago, at a congress in Thessaloniki, in honor of the fact that Aristotle was born 2,400 years ago, it was announced that the tomb of Aristotle probably had been found.
Stageira, the birthplace of Aristotle Maybe this is the tomb of AristotleObviously, this information has not yet been processed at the location itself, but we must have passed it. When I look back at the photos, I think we even have a picture of it (to the right). But, the evidence is still all indirect and there have more often been Greek archaeologists who were more guided by their feelings (and hopes) than by scientific evidence.
Because the terrain is on two hills we have to go up and down again and today it's finally warmer, better than the last few days. Soon we have sweat on our foreheads.
A house in StageiraThere is plenty to see, remnants from various periods, but the ruins are not very spectacular and there is not much information on the site. The view of the coast is, though, occasionally we have beautiful views of the sea and the beaches. I'm glad we have come here.
At the current Stageira (about 8 km away) we drive to the Aristotle park, a small park with a statue of the scientist/philosopher with all kinds of scientific curiosities and games for children.
The coast at PurgadikiaThen we have a lot of mountains to cross and after that we are again at the coast between Sithonia and Kassandra, 2 peninsulas in the region Chalkidiki. It is still sunny and the water is warm, so after a week we finally spend some time on the beach again. There is still a lot of wind and after an hour it feels a lot colder and we dress again. As soon as we are out of the wind it feels immediately warmer, hopefully the temperature will rise a little bit in the coming days.
In Nea Moudania we look for a restaurant and the nice waiter advices us on all sorts of treats. In the end we get the most extensive meal we have eaten here so far. And yes, for the umpteenth time we get a little extra when we want to pay: a dessert that we do not really want at all. Elisabeth has already taken a plastic bag to put the baklava in when the waiter is not looking. But it just leaks through the bag, it's so greasy. Oh, how nice it was ... oh, how hypocritical us. But they really do not get it when you say you do not like sweets and think baklava is dirty, so what should we do?
We have noticed that it is a custom to bring something delicious after a meal as soon as you ask for the bill. Sometimes that is really nice but especially the sweets are often too sweet for us. That is what the plastic bags are for, we always have them with us
In Paralia Dionysou we are cheerfully welcomed by Michael with coffee and, yes, homemade cake, but this one is tasty, with apricot. We exchange some stories and of course we give back the key we forgot to hand in a week ago. We find it always nice to return to a place where we have already been on a holiday, with people and in a place you already know. That way the country feels even more familiar and it looks like we just belong there.
While enjoying the coffee and the cake, we tell the story of the brown information signs and according to Michael they were placed when EU money was made available for them, but nothing else happened after the money ran out.


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