Mani was new to us. It is the next peminsula east of Messenia, but is much more desolate and wild. Well, it was. It's quite beautiful, but we had stormy weather while there.
1 The drive down the Mani Peninsula from Kalamata at the head of the bay passes through the Taygetos Mountains. In fact, the Mani is the Taygetos Mountains.
2 The Mani were once a wild and independant lot, as witnessed by these old fortified towers scattered around the landscape. Some have been renovated for vacation homes or hotels -- and some are fakes.
3 Olive trees at the foot of the Taygetos Mountains.
4 Gorge-ous country.
5 We saw these cypress trees all over. They are really characteristic of this part of the world.
6 This nice mountain village might be Kita. Or it might not be. Note the tower to the right.
7 Looking down on Oitylo or Itylo. Our hotel is down there.
8 Oitylo Beach Hotel -- the first day, when John actually managed to go in the pool. He had too, to rescue his hat the wind had blown in.
9 The pool is smallish and not at all deep, but pleasant -- in good weather.
10 The view from our room window (looking south) in the evening.
11 The next day, the wind was whipping the water into waves of white.
12 The bay still looks nice, but cold.
13 We drove up to Aeropoli, but the wind was too strong to be at all pleasant. In fact, we were a bit afraid of being blown over.
14 View of Limeni, the next village south from ours.
15 Across the bay, a cloud is stuck to the mountain.
16 Alas, the rainbow was not a prediction of better weather to come.
17 The bay at Limeni.
18 We found a taverna, the Black Pirate, which, despite its name, was so nice (especially the nice blond lady who waited on us) that we adopted it as our cantine. Lots of locals ate there too, some of whom you can see beside this happy customer.
19 The next day, we had waves over a meter high and ...
20 ... whitecaps.
21 The sea at the Black PIrate Taverna.
22 Waves breaking on the embankment.
23 Windy it was.
24 Of course, the day we left, the weather was lovely. More beautiful cypress trees. (These are not at all like Florida cypress.)
25 Oitylo Bay looks more peaceful today.
26 Oitylo Bay, looking back north towards our hotel and the Black Pirate Taverna.
27 In the Areopoli main square, a statue of Petrobey Mavromichalis, leader of the Maniots during the first half of the 19th century. His troops took Kalamata form the Turks in 1818, starting the Greek War of Independance.
28 Lovely old cobbled streets of Areopoli.
29 A native of Aeropoli and a happy Swedish tourist.
30 Here is John taking a picture of Siv taking a picture of ...
31 The streets had just been washed apparently.
32 Streets of Aeropoli.
33 The Agii Taxiarxes church dates from the 18th century, but looks much older.
34 Funny decorations.
35 Tower of the Agii Taxiarxes.
36 Another old street.
37 Everything is built of local stone, of course.
38 An old lady (a widow, to judte by the black outfit) has just bought bread for the day.
39 Lintel above the door of the Agii Taxiarxes.
41 American tourist in cafe. We never missed a chance to drink fresh orange juice in Greece.