Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rest day in Kalamata

After seven days of riding, it was time for a rest day. To our surprise, Kalamata is a very cosmopolitan city. It is cleaner and nicer than Athens with lots of parks and sports venues. It had a population of 57,000 in 2001, but feels like a big city. It has gotten very bike friendly in the last two years (according to a local young man) and has marked bike paths and long avenues of pedestrian and bike ways along the main boulevard from the old town to the port. We saw more bikes in one day in Kalamata than we had seen in the previous 14 days. We had a late breakfast and like most Greek meals, the omelet came with French fries.

You definitely get more than you can eat in Greece. In fact, the Greek people seem to be obsessed with making sure you have something to eat. If we only order coffee, we are given some small pastries. If you order ouzo, you get chips or nuts or both! Last night we went to a cafe to have some wine (and use the Internet connection) and we were served cheese and crackers as well.

The Greeks declared independence from the Turks on March 23, 1821 at this small 14th century church in Kalamata.

This old Kalamata castle has exchanged hands many times since 1205 when it's existence was mentioned in a Frankish general's journal. The Turks and the Venetians fought over Kalamata at least twice.

In the central square this monument depicts the Fathers of Independence beneath Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom.

Tomorrow we ride to Koroni.


patty m. said...

What fun to follow along on your adventure!! Looks like your having a great time so far!!

Patty M

Dave and Belinda said...

Hi Patty, it has been fun, but it's raining again! Can you send some San Diego sunshine this way?

Leslie said...

Great pictures!

By the way, Patty M is my friend, Patty Moracsi -commonly known as "Big Patty" - not her favorite term of reference...

I think Patty L has all ready mentioned she'd like to see pictures of Greek men! She thinks Grammy wants to see pictures of Greek men, too! Ha ha!

Dave and Belinda said...

So sorry for the mistake Patty M. Only excuse is brain cramp. hope you continue to enjoy our blog.

Patty L. Please send San Diego sunshine anyway! Btw, we shall try for more portraits. However, understand that when we said that Greek men were manly, we didn't necessarily mean that they were good looking, but rather they exude maleness.

Thanks Leslie for pointing out our brain cramp.