The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

The Best Summer Ever

olive pressStone Olive Press in Mani

Over the past two weeks or so, I have enjoyed the most relaxing and wonderful holiday period that I have had in years. The kid has been away (on and off) for almost a month, spending his time swimming, eating and running around doing things that only kids can really understand. This has meant that the love of my life and I have had a real honeymoon after 12 years of marriage.

We spent a relaxing time at home first where I didn’t bother to clean or cook or do any of the hundred little thing one does in a normal week. We wasted time playing computer games which we haven’t done for a long, long time. Playing music, going out for drinks with friends and doing things people do when their kids are away.

We then took off to a nearby island, with absolutely no plan except to swim and take pictures. With typically good luck (remember this was one of the busiest weekends of the year for people leaving town), we found one of the most beautiful places to stay on the island. Three days of swimming, eating, meeting some wonderfully interesting people and generally being lazy and happy.

We returned to Athens for one night and left for Kalamata to stay with friends. We had intended to go for a couple of days but stayed for five. We took a trip with them into Mani, a place neither of us had ever visited. A deeply fierce and beautiful place that I think will stay with us for ever. We both fell in love with a village called Kardamyli, which seems to have stood still for centuries but manages to be quite hip. We spent several hours there just soaking up the feel of the place and chatting with some extremely friendly and hospitable residents before sitting down to several ice-cold beers in a charming cafe.

Butcher Shop in Kardamyli

We saw so much that day that I don’t think I have taken it all in yet. We were in no rush to get somewhere or see something.  Just driving and stopping where we felt like it. In the company of good, good people.

Anyway, I don’t want to turn this into a holiday diary but I just wanted to say how much I was inspired by this holiday, having been able to switch off from the usual chaos of city living and daily life that so often weighs us down. So, I come back refreshed, as much in love as ever (if not more so), happy to see the kid taller and healthier looking than when we left him and with the biggest smile on his face.

He declared that this has been the best summer ever. I agree. It has.

Normal blogging will resume after the weekend.


  1. EllasDevil
    August 23, 2008    

    I’ve had a absolutely fantastic summer as well… glad you’ve had fun!

    I can’t believe September and a return to the real world are just one week away!

    EllasDevils last blog post..Bye bye Beijing

  2. August 24, 2008    

    Welcome back – as I said in the past real greeks don’t blog at summer so congrats!

    abravanels last blog post..Neo-nazi group urinates on the Shoah Memorial in Rhodes – a video

  3. Margaret
    August 27, 2008    

    DD, I envy you. We spent several holidays around Kardamyli, and further south, meeting up each time with parents of a friend from Kalamata whose house has the most amazing sunsets, so your account seemed quite familiar and memories of the landscape flooded back. I was there when 9/11 happened, so I doubt I’ll ever forget the place. And in an earthquake a few days later … We’ll have to go back to the Mani one day. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time. Great photos.

    August 27, 2008    

    zardoz says:

    dear dd
    you went to my hometown
    and had a great time , im very glad.
    the butcher shop thogh
    looks a lot … like the one in Areopoli
    chance you gotem mixed,,,,,,,,my grandpa
    an ex military man ,
    in the “50s stood outside that door with his very good friend.
    and lived a respectful life
    stomping on fascist garbage of his time ,
    and bringing up a family
    in the most difucult of times,
    xm many mememories … well lets a good autumn
    and well see .

  5. August 27, 2008    

    I hope you have the opportunity to visit Mani again. It really is a magnificent place. And yes, the sunsets were among the best I’ve ever seen.

  6. August 27, 2008    

    @ EllasDevil

    Good to hear that you had a good summer too. We’ll chat at DD live once I get it up and running again in September.


    So THAT”S how I become a real Greek ! lol.

  7. August 28, 2008    

    Hi ZARDOZ !

    Good to see you back here. The shop in the picture is definitely in Kardamyli. I’ll never forget it because I went to ask the butcher himself if I could photograph the inside. He was delighted and I got a great picture. We chatted for a while and then he gave me an orange ! Sweet. His family have another butchers shop in another town. That could be the reason why they look similar ?

    I’d love to hear some stories from your history. We’ll chat at DD live one of these days. As I said to EllasDevil, I’ll be setting it up again in September.

    Here’s to a good autumn….