02.05.2009 - 02.05.2009
Pylos (Πύλος) is described by the Lonely Planet as one of the most picturesque towns in the Peloponnese – and it is.
After our normal breakfast of muesli, strawberries and sheep’s yogurt, drove the few km into Pylos and parked overlooking the sea in the middle of town next to the town square full of chairs and tables to drink and eat at. The main road (single lane) goes around the square – a bit like a roundabout. But people wander across the road and double park (hence holding up all the traffic) while they pop in to shop. No-one seems to get their knickers in a knot over all this though.
Pottered in the shops around the square, and then wandered out to investigate the castle built by the Turks in the 1500s on one of the promontories at one end of the bay. Rather large, and the walls were in pretty good condition, along with one of the main bastions which had been used up until relatively recently in a number of ways, including as a prison (which was the case in some other fortresses/castles we had visited). Saw rather a large snake on the wall – which thankfully disappeared into a tree and down the wall.
Shopped back around the main square for some food items we needed for lunches and dinners, including buying some versions of spanakopita and some very nice almond (we assume) sweet biscuits for lunch, which we ate in the car overlooking the harbour. Into Greek time for eating now – so lunch is usually at 2 to 2.30 pm.
Back to our self contained apartment on the hillside in Gialova – a small, seaside village next door to Pylos – for the afternoon. Walked down to the village for dinner. It was very busy as there are many Greeks here for the long weekend holiday – according to the owner of the apartments, Christos, many come from Athens, a town about which he was not very complimentary.
Weather note: The forecast for the week we were to have in this area had been dreadful – rain most days and temperatures only to about 17. Friday seemed to indicate this was to be the case, but Saturday was fine and mild – a cool wind, but we can cope with that. Overall the weather to date on the trip has been good – fine but cool. Had expected some warmer weather because when we visited France and Spain at the same time of the year we had experienced some fantastic warm weather, and we thought Greece was likely to be at least as good weather wise. But we can’t complain – the main issue is that the sea is so inviting for swimming and by our Oz (Melbourne) standards the water temperature so mild, it would be nice to have a swim. Of course the weather doesn’t seem to stop people from the UK and Germany swimming (or sunbaking naked)!