How about a bit of a change? We have done a city - Athens, a few museums, greek temples by the score,a handful of Cyclopean remains , the sea, the sand , the mountains and the monasteries. Let's do Venetian. It is easy travelling in Suzy to be able to do different things. We are not tied down to any one place. So let's go in search of marble pavements, the Lion of St Mark , a looming castle in an elegant small town which was contested between the Turks and the Venetians for years. It has a fair share of history in its medieval streets and holds the distinction of being the first capital of independent liberated Greece. Throw in a swanky marina full of yachts, the Bourtzi, picture perfect castle set in the cobalt blue sea. All of this is set in a pretty bay. Add a couple of mosques and I think you have the picture.
Parking for Suzy was a pleasure . Easy to find the marina offered hundreds of spaces . We were there early but at this time of year there was no problem finding parking. It would make a lovely overnight stop. If
there was a problem then it was the burning sun. There was no escape from it. The car park was devoid of any shade and some motorists had taken to parking in the shadow of a parked up bus. Fine until the sun or the bus moved.
We were perfectly placed for the short walk into town. We were heading for the main square - Plateia Syntagatos which is the hub of town life with the medieval streets fanning out from it. On the way we spotted an excellent supermarket to call into on our way back . Suzy needed her fridge replenished. Next door was a chocolate shop. Again earmarked for a return visit. Odd here it felt slightly out of place. it would have been more at home in a french town than in a Greek one.
We headed for the cathedral - locked. The mosque - turned into a cinema. The archaelogical museum was in the Venetian fort on the opposite side of the square - closed. There was hardly any life. We had the place to ourselves. The one thing that was open was a tiny street full of shops, each one had a
red bourganvillea growing up its walls. The red was so intense. It looked stunning.
We did not walk to the castle -knowing our luck it would have been closed too. Had this been the start of the holiday we might have hiked all the way up there but after so much climbing we decided to give it a miss and just continue our walk around the flat end of the town.
The supermarket provided me with milk and fresh bread. Next door the chocolate shop was a chocoholics dream. Thick slabs of white and milk chocolate full of nuts. Creme Caramels in brown porcelain pots, cream horns, tiny cakes iced with oreo biscuits on top. other with chocolate icing and hazelnuts. Shredded Wheat cake. It was like a dream as I filled box after box with goodies. The price about half as cheap as they would have been in France.
Walking back to Suzy we saw an old steam engine on some derelict land to the side of the marina . A lovely little engine it pulled five small carriages . Behind it a large number of young children aged between 7 and 14. All begging. They
harrassed passers by and I wonder if they were some of the refugees that have found their way to Greece .
At this point of the holiday we find ourselves slowing down. We have a week to get to Igoumenitsa for the boat back to Italy. We have seen the main things we planned to see and are travelling less each day. I dont' know if it is the weather that is slowing us down or just the pace of Greek life. It has an intoxication about it.
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