Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Back in Greece – Just Under the Milky Way

My new answer to the question about the location of our Greek Stone House on the Hill is going to be, “Just under the Milky Way.”

As we do seem to be just about mid-point under that filmy, far-away brush-stroke of galaxy that sweeps from left to right above our home.

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Sunset over the western point of the Peloponnese as seen from The Stone House on the Hill
On warm clear nights, the type we’ve been having since we arrived two weeks ago, we can sit on our deck, watch dazzling sunsets and then a bit later crane our necks back as far as they will go and ponder the Milky Way’s path across the heavens above us. Relaxing our neck for a front-on view, we gaze at The Big Dipper that sits like a big movie screen showcasing the village. 

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The Stone House on the Hill is far right on the row of grey-stone houses mid photo
Our little hillside slice of The Mani is in an area without street lights and few homes and just far enough from the village lights to make for some incredible star-gazing.  We’d pondered last year – along with our neighbors – whether the government would destroy our ‘big screen’ by adding lights along our road as they have in other areas.   Now the government has more to think about than street lights. They need to find money to repair streets damaged by the massive storm that struck our area in late September. 

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A section of the road near our home and 'my' car that got away
The narrow black-topped road that leads to our house and on up the hillside to the village of Platsa was severely storm damaged. The little automatic car pictured above, that we were scheduled to rent, is low to the ground and wouldn’t have made it over the sunken surface of the road. The Scout has done a great job ‘ threading a needle’ –  and getting us up and down the hill in the small standard shift we've rented in its place. Ours is just one of so many roads damaged that we suspect repairs/replacement are years away from ever happening.

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The Valley from the entryway of The Stone House on the Hill
We are settling in again to this segment of our part-time ex-pat life. Our temperatures have been summer-like and continue to draw European tourists to the beaches and small villages near us. This month – when the sea water is warmer than in the summer, bouquets fill our gardens, and before the shops and restaurants start closing for olive harvest and subsequent winter hibernation – is really one of the best times to be in The Mani.

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Stoupa village's beach shortly after our arrival this fall
We were lucky to have little storm damage at our place.  My fledgling vegetable garden was washed away and we lost small sections of two terraces in the olive grove so we’ve spent much of our first two weeks working on restoration and planting in those areas. But now our 'chores' are back to normal and our pace has slowed.

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Our crop of olives is good and we are awaiting harvest
We appreciate those of you who’ve inquired about the area and expressed concern after learning of the 100-year storm and the damage it caused. (See my post, about it, here.)  There were many who were hit far more severely - we lucked out. Admittedly, I am being a bit home-focused in this post, but I wanted to provide a bit of an update for all of you who’ve asked for a report after our return. And you know this is both a travel and a lifestyle blog. Today you are getting a bit of the lifestyle.

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Our rental car for this portion of our stay - one of our mountain village roads near us
Our travels and life will be Peloponnese-focused for the next few weeks as will the blog. We've got travel tips for exploring the area and we'll tell you more about the ex pat life of living here as well.

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Every day street scenes just waiting to be photographed
We appreciate the time you spend with us each week. And we love hearing from you either by email or in the comment section below.  Until the next time, safe and healthy travels to you and your family ~

Linking this week with some wonderful bloggers at:

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel Inspiration

51 comments:

  1. Jackie!

    What a glorious sunset!

    So excited for you and Scout to be back in your beautiful Stone House on the Hill! I'm glad that your estate was not damaged, and thank goodness your olives are dong fine.

    Waiting to read about your new adventures. I hope to be back on Crete in the new year, although I don't know for how long. I miss my home and garden, the island, my friends and the culture - badly!

    Have a lovely week ahead,
    Poppy

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    1. Our sunsets are nothing short of glorious from here. Can't tell you how nice it is to be back 'on the hill' I am so happy to here you plan to be back on Crete soon!! (for however long)

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  2. What a lovely place and that first shot is gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you - we do think this is a pretty special place.

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  3. I'm glad to hear you're all okay from the storm that passed by. And I'm also glad that you share with us these beautiful photos of where you live. I can only wish that I would beautiful places like that someday!

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    1. Just keep believing in your daydreams, Janice. That is what we did. Dreamed and worked and saved and worked and saved and dreamed -- and it all paid off! Thanks for the visit today~

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  4. I'm so glad that your property came through such a devastating storm so well. xo That must be a huge weight off your mind. Your star-gazing nights sound incredible. :-)

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    1. Star gazing and sun gazing; I could get real lazy if I didn't have so many chores to do! And yes, it was a relief to find our little house on the hill still intact and not so worse for the wear.

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  5. Welcome back to life in your "Stone House" with its day and night views. So glad that your home weathered the storm with only a small amount of damage although I'm sure that each time you have to drive up your potholed road you might think otherwise! I like your glass half-full approach: No, you won't have to worry about the street lights competing with your night view for awhile! Enjoy the stars!

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    1. Thanks Anita. I am sure you know the joy of returning to this side of the Atlantic. I cringe when we have to start talking about leaving here but as long as we are doing the Schengen Shuffle that will be a fact of life.

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  6. Love your images! Especially the first one! And those mountains in the distance are so gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Hope you'll return as I have more coming next week!

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  7. So sorry about your roads but o, so glad your sweet home wasn't damaged also glad to know your olive crop is good. I always enjoy your posts about the olives and their harvest....you live in a fairy tale world and I am so glad for you....xoxo

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    1. Oh BJ you'd have enjoyed my FB post today - I did it to bring reality to the fairy tale world I portray: had to clean out the shower drain (gag me!) and then turned to dirty, home maintenance projects. . .but as one friend pointed out at the end of the day we still have our view and our sunsets. . .so I really can't complain. I know the meaning of 'dream home' now. . . xxx J.

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  8. Your place and view is magical. Glad you didn't get hit too hard. Hope you never get street lights. Just repaired streets would be fine.

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    1. I did have a thought the other day that perhaps by the time they get to road repairs on our street they may decide to install the lights as part of the project. . .yikes! Maybe we could live with this beat up road for a few years??? Thanks for stopping by Gaelyn.

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  9. It was lucky that you didn't lose your crop of olives in the storm. I'm settling in awaiting more lifestyle in the Mani posts. Bring them on :)

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    1. Oh Jan, if we were closer, I'd throw my arms around you and give you a bear hug!

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  10. Great to hear you are back! Looks like it is going to be a lovely fall in there! Enjoy the weekend.

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    1. I am also very glad to be back! Our return was a big question mark when we left last spring so it made it even sweeter to see the place again this fall. Hope you've had a great weekend!

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  11. What an amazing view you have from your home

    Mollyxxx

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    1. We do have a spectacular view and I think that is what sold us on this place. We've still got a lot of things to fix and replace but even with the most dirty grunt work projects we can look up and enjoy that view! Thanks much for your visit, Molly!

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  12. Glad to hear you survived relatively intact. The olives are looking good (those that survived).

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    1. So far so good, Jim. We are now just days away from harvest! Thanks for stopping by ~

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  13. Hi Jackie! I do hope that your road gets fixed sooner rather than later. As you mentioned, you were incredibly lucky. What's a bumpy road in the scheme of things, right? That sunset shot is glorious.Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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    1. Friends just came to visit from across the valley and walked part of the way to our house. . .hope to get a load of gravel soon and we neighbors plan to start filling in the pot holes; kinda the do-it-yourself plan around here it seems! #TPThursday

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  14. What a stunning spot and that first shot is gorgeous!....And those mountains out there are so ravishing!

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    1. Thanks much for stopping by - hope to see you back here often!

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  15. Your pictures tell a story of a wonderful adventurous (half-time) expat life. Do you stay over the whole winter time? Isn't that quite chilly in Greece, too?

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    1. We are still on tourist visas so can only stay in Schengen countries (of which Greece is one) for 90 days and must be out 90 days so we will have to leave in early December. Our first month of ownership spanned Dec. into January and while it was brisk it was also bright and sunny many days, although we did have some rain and wind. Thanks for the visit!

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  16. So glad to hear that your Stone House on the Hill weathered the storm so well. I'm looking forward to reading more about your part-time ex-pat life in Greece. Living the dream!

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    1. We are definitely living the dream and not letting any moment get away from us. . .even if it is stargazing or staring at the clouds float by. Plenty of ex pat tales will be coming your way! Thanks much for the visit and comment!

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  17. It looks amazing what a wonderful place to spend some of your time....will have to check out the area when we make it to Greece early next year.

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    1. Let me know when you make it to Greece and if you get to this area, it would be fun to meet!

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  18. I love stone houses like that especially with those stunning views and old towns....lucky you!

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    1. Yes, I pinch myself every so often and ask, "Did we really have the courage to do this?" And sometimes I still look at our house and again pinch myself when I say, Our. House. Pretty amazing for a couple of old folks! Thanks for the visit, Noel.

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  19. wow.what a dream location for a place to live. Greece is very appealing and i need to get back to visit again. #wkendtravelinspiration

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    1. It is a magical spot and looking back we are so glad we took the leap and tried it out. . . it would have been one of life's great losses, had we not shaken off conventional wisdom and tried this part time life.

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  20. I truly love Greece. Would love to return and continuing exploring some day soon. You're so right. It's a photograph at every turn! Thx for sharing yours.

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    1. There are so many great places on earth but I'd still have to rank Greece at the top of my list as a place that just calls out for a visit! Hope you do get back here soon Doreen!

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  21. Happy to hear you are back at the stone house. I hope you don't lose your night sky to encroaching lights.

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    1. I suspect that might be some time down the road, but we will make the most of it, while we have it. Thanks for the visit, Rhonda!

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  22. Excellent Post.. Love the sightseeing too..

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you'll be back often!

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  23. I'm glad that you didn't return to too much damage. I can just picture the Milky Way settling over your stone house. What a lovely sight that must be.

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    1. It really is spectacular on warm starry nights. Watching to moon go through its cycles isn't bad either! Thanks for stopping by Michele~

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  24. Your Stone House on the Hill sounds heavenly! I'm glad that you weren't badly affected by the storm.

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    1. Well this morning we have two non-working toilets (in a two bathroom house) and are waiting for the plumber. . .a bit of reality keeps us from swooning over it all the time! Thanks for stopping by!

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  25. Thank goodness your property weathered the storm. Enjoy the warm breezes in Greece.

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  26. I am enjoying being able to follow your posts about your part-time ex-pat life in Greece, especially since my husband and I visited in June. While ours was in Athens and on a cruise of the Greek Isles, it left me intrigued with this special place and a longing to see more of it. I'd love to see the Milky Way from your house on the hill. Enjoy every minute!

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  27. Sunsets in Greece are so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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