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The first quiet days at Nea Kallikrateia


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Greece, summer 2018, the first quiet days at Nea Kallikrateia

We went to bed early yesterday and wake up late today, not until 9 o'clock. First go to a supermarket for the necessary groceries and when we are in a Masoutis supermarket, I suddenly realize that I have heard a lot of advertising about it on Greek radio over the past few months. I listen to that because I want to learn Greek. I have been studying for about 2 years now and I know the basics a bit, but I find it a very difficult language to learn. I therefore want to take every opportunity to practice the language and when the cassiere asks me if I have a Mas card (a kind of bonus card), I say no and then ask how I can get one. I am led to an information desk where someone explains a lot of things to me in (too rapid) Greek and have to fill in a lot of papers. But I practiced the language and got a Mas card of which I am very proud!
View of the sea, Nea Kallikrateia Statue in Nea KallikrateiaIn our hotel room we prepare a breakfast that we eat on the balcony. Afterwards we walk over the boulevard and along the beach that is completely full with people. It is warm again but still stuffy. The town is not particularly interesting but still nice to walk around. And then it's time to find a terrace for a cup of coffee. With this warm weather we always say that we want hot coffee because most Greeks prefer to drink fredo, cold coffee which we not particularly like.
Beach at Sozopolis Beach at SozopolisWe drive a bit through the neighborhood these days where we see many deserted beaches, very different from the crowds in Nea Kallikrateia. The town is not so far from Thessaloniki, so perhaps it is also very popular with residents of that city to go to in the weekend.
Monday morning we call a Greek who is renting a house nearby and with whom we have emailed in advance. According to the website it costs € 40 per month but that seemed too good to be true and it is. It is € 40 per night but then you have to rent it for at least half a year. Nothing for us, then we prefer to travel around.
Bus stop on the road to Nea Kallikrateia Where is the Byzantine city?A little south of Nea Kallikratia points a brown information sign to the Byzantine city of Vergia but we do not find it. You've been tricked again, says Elisabeth, who knows from experience that many of those signs often lead nowhere in Greece. I should know that, too, but every time I am curious where they lead. More fun is the bench that we see at a bus stop: somebody probably wanted to get rid of the old chairs and put them here.
Cold ice and cold beerEvery day we also go to the beach, but not too long because we do not want to burn. And after that it is usually time to look for a restaurant somewhere for some food or just an ice cream and a beer that fits perfectly with the warm weather. Although, occasionally a thunderstorm comes over and a lot of rain falls down.
Monday the 11th we pay the hotel and go on the road to Paralia Dionysiou, a village not much further away. But it takes a while before we can leave because the Greek government has imposed a new tax, namely € 0.50 per night per room for which quite a bit of paperwork has to be filled in. The one euro tax that we have to pay for 2 nights ultimately costs us almost half an hour. The hotel owner himself is not happy with it either.
Dionysios Palms in Paralia Dionysiou Sea view, Paralia DionysiouIn Dionysios Palms, the apartment complex of our Greek friends Michael and Kiki, it is quiet, there is no one. So we wait until they have finished their siesta and they are happy to see us again. We also meet some Russians that we have seen here before in recent years and we are immediately invited to an evening with jazz music at the tennis club in Nea Moudania. Not really our music but nice with some Greek friends and Russian acquaintances and we only leave at 2:30.
Back in the room we discover that this morning we forgot to return the room key from the previous hotel. This is not the first time that happens to me. So the next morning we bring it back, fortunately it is not that far. And then the owner also gives us our internet dongle that we obviously have forgotten and a book. We had forgotten that book on purpose, but the dongle gives us unlimited internet access throughout the EU so we have to be more carefull with that device!
The beach at Kalives The sea at KalivesThe nicest beach in the area we think is at Kalives, about 15 kilometers away. In recent years, people were already busy building there and now a whole apartment village has been added and part of the long beach has been taken. Yet there is still enough room for us. Yet strange: you lie on an empty beach and then someone arrives who will lie down only a few meters from you while there is so much space. We do not understand that very well, go a bit further, please.
But the sea is already getting warm and the seabed only slowly runs down so it is a pleasant place to bathe and swim.
Dessert after dinner in PoligirosFrom Kalyves we drive once more into the mountains, to Polygiros where we discovered a good restaurant last year. This time we get good food again and, as is usual in these areas, after asking for the bill, a dessert. This can be anything from sweet lumps of baklava to cherries on ice. This time we get 6 thick pieces of tasty melon.
Of course I have to show Michael and Kiki how far I have progressed with my Greek study and Kiki decides to teach me 1 or 2 hours every night, I even get homework. Those are the best lessons you can get, even though my head feels like it is going to explode after two hours of trying in this tricky language. But fortunately I notice that I have made some progress compared to last year, it is all very basic but at least I can make myself understood!

 


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