Koroni and Methoni
Koroni and Methoni
Wednesday, 29th August, 2012.
We decided we had to visit Koroni and Methoni as they both looked so interesting as we had motored past on Sunday. We were not disappointed with either. The small town of Koroni with its one road in and one road out is like a town in a forgotten time. The restaurants by the quay bring you back to modern day and the only concession to tourism. There were several shops in the back streets selling all sorts of hardware and you could imagine you could ask them for anything and you would not be disappointed. The little old fishing boats in the harbour have seen years of work and the once grand buildings on the quay definitely need lots of TLC. We have noticed most houses do not have any drain pipes but “beaks” on their undulating roofs with elaborate wrought-iron balconies and horizontal slat shutters.
The road stayed closer to the coast line and although we were often taken up into the mountains the road quickly came back to near the coast again. We did find the very expensive looking house we passed by on Sunday which has a huge wall and gate on the road side still having workman delivering or continuing to put finishing touches to a fabulous house.
The road seller’s today are selling 5 kilo bags of oranges for juicing. We had to have one for our breakfast juice and it was wonderful. The cost was 4 euro’s which is roughly £3.20.
Methoni has a wonderful castle but it said in the DK book it is open until seven o’clock. When we arrived at 3 p.m. the chain was locked and three guys were sat on the wall. We said we had come a long way to see the castle and it was closed early to which we were told if we paid money they would quite happily open up. Jim was not amused and gave them a stern “No thank you”. So we wandered down to the water’s edge and walked along the edge of the castle walls and got quite a good view for ourselves.
Methoni was a key Venetian port controlling the lucrative pilgrim trade to Palestine after 1209. With the sea on three sides the rambling castle defended the town with its Venetian moat.
We had a swim here in the bay where there were several visiting yachts anchored enjoying the castle view. The sand is lovely and soft and not a stone or pebble in sight. We watched an Austrian yacht that had been in Kalamata with us head out past the castle making his way up to Pilos. The 32 foot boat was making heavy weather of the swell outside of the bay and when we saw them come into Pilos over 3 hours later we were surprised it had taken them so long to do 6 miles but the sea had continued to take its toll on the boat. The Austrian chap is going to take it to the Caribbean in the winter.
We had another view of Pilos from the road and the view above the marine looking out over the Bay of Navarino. The catamaran is still sitting dejected on the quay with no staff!
On the way back we went across country and the road was amazingly good. We did see a huge fire in the mountains with two sea planes in attendance. There has been no rain since May so you can imagine the countryside is very dry and it does not take much for several acres to get burnt. The locals must be praying for rain although Jim and I are hoping it will not happen until we are safely back in England.