We have spent two days here in Gythio which was the port of ancient Sparta and is an attractive small town at the head of the Lakonian Gulf and the gateway to the Mani peninsular. The little island just outside the harbour (shown below, opposite the typically comfortable seating of a waterfront bar) is, according to Homer, the place where Paris and Helen of Troy did that thing which caused the Trojan Wars. They chose a lovely spot. The town has a delightful ancient theatre with stone seats designed to fit your behind nicely. It also has lots of distinctive crumbling old houses with tottering balconies on narrow twisting streets.
The drawback to the place has been the unusual officiousness of the local port police which meant some tedious extra form filling on arrival. First mate also fell foul of them, or actually of a girl young enough to be her daughter, when she, unwisely as it turned out, went for a swim from the boat in front of the police and large crowds waiting for the weekly ferry from Crete. The water was crystal clear and there is a beach the other side of the same bay, but no, I was told it was “dangerous” to swim there and I mustn’t do it again there or in “any other port in Greece”. Most other places we have been with clean enough water, no-one has minded at all!
We are now about to set off down the east coast of the third “finger” of the Peloponnese towards Cape Malea which has a bit of a reputation for high winds. Nothing like that is forecast, but then this is the Med and we know anything can happen….