Thursday, February 12, 2015

Greece ~ Come along. Visit our ‘hood’

Our criteria for a Greek home was quite simple.
We wanted a stone house with a water view and a garden or olive grove.
We ultimately got them all.

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Our Stone House on the Hill in Greece
 
What we hadn’t given that much thought was: the neighborhood. Who would live next door? Would there even be a ‘next door’? Would we be in a village? If not, how far away would a village be? We hadn’t focused on those questions because we simply didn’t think of them, so focused were we on 'the house'.

As you know from my recent posts about our recently-purchased Stone House on the Hill, our criteria for the house was met and exceeded. As for the neighborhood – we couldn’t have picked better had we given it any thought.

Come along. . . let me introduce you to our Greek ‘hood. . .

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We are furthest right in this photo - hidden by the tree

Our house is the one on the far-right, tucked away behind our big tree at the end of the grove. We have a British couple (part-timers, like us) immediately to our left. Next to them, full-timers Christina and Dimetrios, the Greek couple who built the five homes at the top of the photo. The third house from us is owned by another couple from Britain who live here full-time (when they are not traveling, that is).

We have yet to meet our neighbors in the homes to the far left and below us. Although our Cat Who Came for Christmas, AKA  “Princess” is said to live in that house down below when the owner is home.

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The road that links two villages
 
Our row of stone houses is at the edge of a century-old olive grove. To reach them, one follows a narrow, paved road that connects the villages of Ag. Dimitrio below us to Platsa, about three kilometers above us.

You’ve probably guessed, we have very little traffic on this tiny road – and when a car or bike passes, it generates waves, nods of the head or a call of greeting. We are walking distance – via a smaller rutted dirt road through an olive grove – to the port of Ag. Dimitrios and just a bit further is the part-sand, part-rock beach.

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The beach is a walk away

Many of you who have traveled in Italy’s Tuscany region will notice the striking similarities between this countryside and that one, particularly the Mediterranean Cypress trees that dot the landscape. (What is nice about here is we get all that Tuscan-type beauty for far-less-the-cost!)

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The countryside rivals Tuscany in beauty - but the price is better here!
 

DSCF2998This driveway, just around the corner and above us, leads down to one of the many charming stone homes tucked away amid the olive groves – we have yet to meet that neighbor.
So many ‘new’ people and places just footsteps away waiting to be discovered just like. . .

. . .the villages! So picturesque, they often times don’t seem real. The one in the photo below is Kotroni, (the cluster of buildings at the top of the photo) as seen from just above our home. We drove there once and it, like so many villages, has such narrow roadways that you park your car outside the village and enter it on foot.We’ve yet to do that exploration, but we will!

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Village of Kotroni

The views from the ‘hood are sweeping and stretch from out over the Gulf of Messinia to the Taygetos Mountains. The photo below is taken from just above our house:

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The Mani Greece
The ‘hood was full of tiny roadside wonders as well on this early January Saturday stroll:
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January blooms
 
We are eager to return this spring and see the profusion of color that the spring wildflowers offer. Yet, these hardy blooms were amazing. It was winter. The surrounding hills were covered with snow!

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Don't you love the mountain that looms above our home?
 
 
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View from our deck
It is definitely a contrast to our current ‘home base’ in Hawaii with its sandy beaches and 80-degree temperatures - where we are enjoying our ‘interval life’, that I told you about earlier this week. We’ll take you on a tour of this tropical neighborhood in our next post so hope you’ll join us here again soon. 

We’ve noticed we have some new subscriber/friends and followers: Welcome! We look forward to getting to know you ~ so hope you will join in the conversation by commenting or emailing.

And to all of  you, we just read that 7.4 new travel blogs appear every second – makes us even more grateful for the time you spend with us!!

Speaking of friends, I need to thank our friend Maria Korma who lives in the village of Stoupa, Greece for keeping us updated on activities there via her Facebook page. She gave me permission to use two of her photos in this post!

This week’s link ups are with:

Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route 
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

45 comments:

  1. You have really done it! Ken is totally convinced that we need to go back to Greece, and is saving money as quickly as he can stow it away so we can make that trip. When I first visited Greece, I promised myself I would be back nine more times in my life. So far I've only made that four more times, for a total of five. Of course there are many islands I've not visited outside of the Cyclades (notably the western ones like Corfu), haven't been to Rhodes, haven't been to Alexander's territory in northeastern Greece. So when we return, we will want to see some of that unexplored territory. Keep the temptations coming!

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    1. The Mani is a great jumping off spot for the Ionian Islands (of which Corfu is one). We drove about two hours north and caught the ferry to Kafelonia last summer and found it a delightful getaway spot and from there you could island hop around that group. . . or you could drive north to Patras, spend a night in the big city then cross the bridge to the Mainland and drive to Delphi. . .just a thought to keep you tempted! ;-)

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  2. Hi Jakie!We , my husband and me, are in Greece too,but living our dream on a sailing boat. If you like, follow my Blog,to have a different view point of this lovely Country.

    sy-paddyboy.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Giuliani, I took a quick pop over to your paddyboy blog but I couldn't find a way to start following you. Please let me know how to do so and I will. Hope you'll soon show up among our Google friends/followers as well! Thanks for visiting today~

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  3. What a wonderful, beautiful, friendly place to live. :-) I'm SO glad you stayed with your dream and kept hoping and trying until it came true. :-)

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    1. So far, so good, as we say in the States, right? We are eager to get back and do some more work and make some more discoveries. . .guess that is a good sign. Thanks much for stopping by!

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  4. I love your Stone House on the Hill and it's "hood"! I looks beautiful and peaceful there. Do you know what the weather is like in the winter there?

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    1. I Ruth thanks for the visit today. Actually this post was written about January so winter there can be cold and it can also be warm; high waves, strong wind and followed by a still calm day. Felt more like early spring to us but then we are from the Pacific Northwest of the US.

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  5. Love all this vegetation and sweeping views, and that the neighbors aren't too close. I'd probably look for a house with those criteria before thinking if the roof leaked.

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    1. Good point Gaelyn, and you know? We didn't even ask about leaks! Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment - always appreciated!

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  6. Love seeing all of the pictures of the "hood". You have found such a wonderful life in Greece. Can't wait to go back.

    Enjoy Ko Olina. Wish we were there toasting with you at Chuck's. We have lots of catching up to do!

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    1. One of these days we will just have to make this a rendezvous point (unless you two decide to sail to Greece and then you can visit the Stone House on the Hill where we'd really have time to get caught up!)

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  7. Oh really! you must feel like all your dreams have come true. I love reading books about people who have made "sea-changes" to far flung countries. I hope you put yours in a book too - with all the little stories about the people and what happens making it all come true.
    Happy days!

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    1. I am giving that some thought, Jill. So thanks for the encouragement. It is fun to experience this 'final fling' as we are calling this adventure! So appreciate your visit today and thanks for commenting as well!

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  8. Hello Jackie and Joel,

    This is a piece of Paradise.

    What more could one wish for? The landscape looks so very beautiful and how wonderful it is to be so close to the sea. And, good neighbours, now that is a definite bonus.

    We wish you every happiness in your Greek house.

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    1. We have definitely found the perfect location - close to sea and mountains, that is for sure, Lance and Jane. And we couldn't have picked better neighbors had we set out to do so. Thank you so much for your good wishes. . .and thanks so much for stopping by!

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  9. Oh, what pastoral splendour, with views of the sea and spectacular, snow topped geological giants, all part of your heavenly 'hood, where your stone house on the hill stands with such pride, and you, its inhabitants, feel the joys of its existence.

    Thanks for the tour! Really feels like I'm there, since it's both familiar and unfamiliar countryside - kind of like countryside cousins: the Cretan and the Mani!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Hugs,
    Poppy

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    1. Oh Poppy, I keep hoping that one of these days you and I will be strolling down that road and through the grove together - a real tour! Thanks so much for the visit and Happy Valentine's Day to you as well! xxxx Jackie

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  10. Snow in Greece?? What?! Is that normal, Jackie? I love that view up above your house....OMG! :)

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    1. Yep, Mike, snow in Greece! And cold, biting winds as well. I may have to do a post and show you some of the bad days we had -- not many, mind you but when Mother Nature struck she did so with a vengeance! Thanks for the comment, my friend!

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  11. Congratulations on your new house, Jackie! Sounds like you found a fabulous place to spend parts of the year. Where in Greece is this?

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    1. Thanks much Sophie. We are in the Mani region of the Peloponnese peninsula. The welcome mat is out: http://www.travelnwrite.com/2015/02/the-stone-house-on-hill-welcome.html

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  12. Jackie & Joel, your neighbourhood is beautiful and that mountain behind your property must be a constant joy. You must be so happy knowing you are going to live here and the fun you shall have exploring
    Helenx

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    1. We are looking forward to our return Helen and getting to know the area and the neighbors better. It will be great fun! Thanks for your visit. xx

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  13. Wow. *speechless* So much beauty I don't know where to start!!

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  14. Yes, Heather, we are blown away by the beauty of this area. Quite frankly, we are amazed that the world hasn't caught on to it and started flocking here. As I said, the prices remain low and the views are stunning. . .hope one day you two will visit and get a chance to see the place and its 'hood in person! Happy Valentines' Weekend to you~

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  15. Thanks for the tour of your "hood".. What a lovely view..Enjoy your new house, what a beautiful place.. Have a happy week ahead!

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    1. Hi Eileen, so nice to have you take the tour. Have a great week and see you soon hopefully both here and at your 'place'!

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  16. I'm so happy for you both to have your Greece dream home. This view around your 'hood' has been nice to see, hopefully some neighbours will agree to be shared on your blog one day.
    I was fortunate to meet Poppy for tea when she was visiting relatives in Canada last year and if you two should get together, you'll have a splendid time.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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    1. Oh my Judith, I remember reading Poppy's post about that get-together but I didn't 'know' you then. So glad we've had the pleasure of meeting and now have mutual friends. Thanks for the visit today!

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  17. You have got the house in gorgeous place. Beautiful shots.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Rajesh - it is always nice to see a comment from you! Have a happy week~

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  18. Beautiful countryside.....and wild flowers!

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    1. I am constantly amazed at the beauty of wildflowers! Thanks much for your visit today ~ always appreciated!

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  19. Beautiful countryside.....and wild flowers!

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  20. It looks like you've found a wonderful new 'hood to hang in!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Phoebe! Always nice to see a comment from you. Have a great week!

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  21. Congrats on the house, Jackie! Love your 'hood and the view. I'm surprised, though, to see snow in the distance but I look forward to seeing your spring blooms.

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    1. Oh Marcia I was just thinking of you not long ago. And yes, there was and is snow on those mountains. I seemed to surprise everyone with that photo so next week am writing about the real story of a Greek winter!

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  22. Looks bloody amazing! The question is now how how much time will you want to spend in Seattle? And how long is your guest list? You might have to make it a work to stay kind of scenario or you'll have all sorts of people showing up on your doorstep. Hats off to you for finding such a spot.

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    1. The easier answer is that on a Greek tourist visa which we travel on (the residency visa application - and its cost - is far too difficult for Americans -- so we will visit Greece as home-owning tourists: the most time we can stay is 90 days and then must be gone 180 before returning for another 90 days. We will still call Seattle the home base - for now anyway!

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  23. Hi Jackie. 7.4 new travel blogs every second...mind boggling! I love your 'hood. The olive grove and the view would have me singing. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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    1. Yes, that number does make me think about market glut. . .always a pleasure to be a part of TPThursday.

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  24. I couldn't help but think of the lyrics to Row Row Row Your Boat - "life is but a dream".

    What wonderful experiences you are having.

    Thanks for the sweet words on my Valentine post.

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    1. Thanks so much for your visit - I love your blog!! And sometimes I do pinch myself just to make sure I am not dreaming.

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