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.
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.  gr18 092610350 k cab 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.  gr18 092611070 k Olive trees at the foot of the Taygetos Mountains.  gr18 092611260 k Gorge-ous country.  gr18 092611262 k ab
We saw these cypress trees all over. They are really characteristic of this part of the world.  gr18 092611390 k This nice mountain village might be Kita. Or it might not be. Note the tower to the right.  gr18 092612071 k aac Looking down on Oitylo or Itylo. Our hotel is down there.  gr18 092612310 k 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.  gr18 092614191 k c
The pool is smallish and not at all deep, but pleasant -- in good weather.  gr18 092614180 k The view from our room window (looking south) in the evening.  gr18 092716510 k The next day, the wind was whipping the water into waves of white.  gr18 092809262 k The bay still looks nice, but cold.  gr18 092809300 k
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.  gr18 092810360 s View of Limeni, the next village south from ours.  gr18 092810361 k Across the bay, a cloud is stuck to the mountain.  gr18 092810371 s Alas, the rainbow was not a prediction of better weather to come.  gr18 092810560 k ab
The bay at Limeni.  gr18 092811150 k 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.  gr18 092812310 k The next day, we had waves over a meter high and ...  gr18 092911520 k ... whitecaps.  gr18 092911521 k
The sea at the Black PIrate Taverna.  gr18 092913441 k Waves breaking on the embankment.  gr18 092913462 k Windy it was.  gr18 092915522 k Of course, the day we left, the weather was lovely. More beautiful cypress trees. (These are not at all like Florida cypress.)  gr18 093009230 k
Oitylo Bay looks more peaceful today.  gr18 093009340 k Oitylo Bay, looking back north towards our hotel and the Black Pirate Taverna.  gr18 093009360 s 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.  gr18 093009461 k Lovely old cobbled streets of Areopoli.  gr18 093009490 s
A native of Aeropoli and a happy Swedish tourist.  gr18 093009490 k Here is  John taking a picture of Siv taking a picture of ...  gr18 093009510 s The streets had just been washed apparently.  gr18 093009501 k Streets of Aeropoli.  gr18 093009541 s
The Agii Taxiarxes church dates from the 18th century, but looks much older.  gr18 093009560 s Funny decorations.  gr18 093009560 k Tower of the Agii Taxiarxes.  gr18 093009581 s Another old street.  gr18 093010030 k
Everything is built of local stone, of course.  gr18 093010030 s An old lady (a widow, to judte by the black outfit) has just bought bread for the day.  gr18 093010061 k Lintel above the door of the Agii Taxiarxes.  gr18 093010070 k ba Bougainvillea.  gr18 093010100 s
American tourist in cafe. We never missed a chance to drink fresh orange juice in Greece.  gr18 093010421 s The main square and a church. Cafes on left.  gr18 093010422 s Leaving Areopolis...  gr18 093010510 k One last view of Oitylo Bay.  gr18 093010522 s
Moutains near Sparta.  gr18 093011130 k