Friday, June 13, 2014

Charming church rewards drive to end of Kassandra spit

We decided to escape our resort and go for a drive to the end of the Kassandra Spit. It was quite unusual to go through small resort towns, where shops selling suntan lotion and beachy type things were next door to shops selling furs. Most of these small towns, with lots of restaurants and patisseries, were full of tourists, many from neighbouring Albania, Romania and Bulgaria as well as Russia and the UK.

Once again the roadsides were unkempt and overgrown; however it was lovely to see the water from both sides of the peninsula. As we drove further south it became much more rural. Finally, we stopped at a lovely spot with a few fishing boats and a tiny church atop a little hill. Another car drove up and its occupants went inside the church. We decided to have a look for ourselves. It was open but no one was around. A few candles were lit and money was overflowing from the offertory box. There were several brightly coloured icons on the walls. It seemed like this spot had many visitors. Back in the car we drove up the other side of the peninsula returning to our resort for lunch and an afternoon on the beach.

The rest of our stay was pretty uneventful. We normally would not stay at a place like this and we likened it to the 1970s TV show, The Prisoner, where everyone was super friendly almost to a fault. It was a little surreal and certainly was not reflective of the state of Greece beyond the boundaries of the resort. Of course this doesn't mean that the Greeks weren't friendly. Quite the contrary, they were very friendly. On our next Greek trip, we will visit some islands. People always speak favorably about them but where do they stay?

On our last night we had dinner at a small Greek restaurant, Tomata, at the marina. Once seated we were invited to make our own salad. There was a basin inset in the table filled with lovely, ripe tomatoes, arugula, lemons, limes and peppers. This was surrounded by a really good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, green and black olives, and jars with dried oregano and thyme. It was good fun mixing our own salad. Bread appeared with tzaziki and a pimento spread. Finally, they had moussaka on the menu. And it was delicious, topped with eggplant and an outstanding haloumi cheese sauce. It was worth the wait.

The next afternoon we left the beach, cleaned up in the spa, had our last lunch before returning to reality, joining the scrum at the much too small Thessaloniki airport.

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