Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greece: ‘That’ Stone House ~ Dwelling in Possibility

‘Dwell in Possibility’
                          -Emily Dickenson
Taygetos Mountains - Peloponnese, Greece

Our trip to Greece last spring had a two-fold purpose: one was the enjoyment of revisiting as much of this vast country as our time allowed and the other was to pursue a daydream – to search for ‘that’ stone house.

I wrote a post as our search began that seemed to strike a chord with those of you who suffer from wanderlust and “possibility” as we do. Many wrote and told us our tale had made you laugh –others sent words of encouragement to continue the search; the one started by following a couple of Albanians – one a home builder – up into an olive grove until our little rental car could go no further.


Our search did continue. We set off on our own – sometimes ending up in the most interesting places, usually near and sometimes in an olive grove. Often times not finding a house but always having an adventure, like the day we came face-to-face with this cow.  You know the thought going through her mind, “OMG! What are those crazed tourists doing here?!”

PicMonkey Collage
Homes we visited in the Peloponnese - 'The Scout' at work
We also spent two days of our time in The Mani, as this area of the Peloponnese is known, with two realtors – a valuable time in which we learned much about Greek homes and the area. One fellow was most congenial and the other seemed exasperated with the task of showing homes from the moment we met. At the end of a day spent parading through occupied homes and looking at construction shells – none of which caught our eye – Mr. Exasperated asked, “Just what do you want in a home?!?”  I snapped back, “I don’t know but I will know it when I see it. . .and I haven’t seen it!” (Daydreams can be difficult to articulate but you know them when you see them!)

Street Scene near Kalamata Municipal Market
While out exploring the normal tourist routes we added visits to grocery and hardware stores. . .just in case we should wake from the daydream and decide we really were going to buy a home. On Market Day we drove to the area’s largest city, Kalamata, (yes, those olives are grown here)  and shopped at its huge municipal market, making notes of the plant vendors along the route. We visited furniture stores. . .again, just in case.  These outings were fun and certainly added a different feel to the area than our normal tourist outings would have done.


We spent more than a week exploring this part of the country following looping roads to, and through, small mountain villages or to the beaches that dot the coastline. At the end of each day we retreated to our hotel, sipped wine at sunset and pondered buying a home. There were pluses and minuses and we probably exhausted them all on those quiet hours watching the day come to a close. ‘Were we too old?’ ‘Did we have another adventure left in us?’ (We did own homes in Mexico for 15 years – but then that was back some years ago. . .)


We didn’t fret about things like is there health care available and whether people spoke English here (those are questions we’ve been asked since we returned home – the answer is ‘yes’, to both in case you are wondering).
Our concern was the impact such a purchase would have on our current travel life – Would it open new avenues of adventure or limit our travels?
We also discussed the logistics and requirements. We’d learned that buying a home in a foreign country requires a few more steps than forking over a deposit  – in Greece a ‘stranger’ (as they call foreigners) must have a Greek bank account and have a Greek tax ID number.  Both of those were steps we could take just in case . . .but in the end, we didn’t.

A Map in the Lap and my travel journal - necessities of a road trip
Our days in The Mani came to an end. We headed north, looping our way back to the Athens airport where we returned the car and hopped a plane to Crete, then island-hopped our way back through the Cycladic islands and then back to Istanbul and home. We’d kept our eyes open to home possibilities in each of the Greek areas we visited.

We had at least moved those daydreams to possibilities. . .we could now 'dwell in possibility'. . .


As you might have guessed this story’s ending hasn’t yet been written. Although, we’ve finally answered those questions we pondered so regularly at sunset. I’ll tell you the answers and, perhaps, the ending of this daydream in a future post. Stay tuned. . . 

Thanks for the time you’ve spent with us today!

Linking up with:
Travel Photo Thursday
Weekend Travel Inspiration
Travel Photo Monday


  1. Well, well, well, you should write a screenplay, my friend! I was already on the edge of my seat, and now this teaser...okay, more popcorn until the next post!

    Gorgeous pics of your journey to 'that' stone far!


    1. How about a movie titled, "Under the Grecian Sun"? ;-) We've had an interesting week -- almost a week anyway, Poppy. I just got my Greek cell phone which they said works throughout Greece. So send me your phone number in an email and I will try giving you a call. Whoa! How techno am I getting??? Thanks for the visit today~

  2. That would be crazy awesome to buy a home there, Jackie! I'm glad you included the info about health care, English and the Greece bank stuff. I was so curious as to all of the steps you have to go through. I hope you don't stop writing this story for a while because it's a blast to read the journey, our friend! :)

    1. You've hit the nail on the head, Mike. Crazy and awesome. Next installment will be on buying a cell phone. . .seems we have spent days in the process and have along way to go. Looking forward to hearing more of your picnic in the park, Bucket List Item.

  3. What fun, Jackie. Regardless of what you decide, you're having a great adventure. A Greek cellphone, that's a big step :) Love the cow!

    1. We've had the phone five days now - almost and are still not quite to the point of getting it to work. Carpe Diem!

  4. I love that you hold your dreams in an open hand like this, pursuing, building, waiting, etc. Knowing that it will all come together when the time is right. I can't wait to see what happens next!! XO

    1. Never too old to dream a dream or two. . .will keep you posted on this one! Thanks for the visit - computer web access has been spotty so I will be back to your blog as soon as it straightens out!

  5. Jackie and Joel, I've always been leary about buying a house somewhere other than my own country, but I love a stone cottage...and a Greek Island, so I can understand your desire! Good luck!

    1. Hi Corinne - Thanks for the visit. We didn't have internet yesterday so I didn't get linked up with you -- will do better as internet connections improve (or after we get home in a few weeks). Bear with me!

  6. I love your response, Jackie. I'll know it when I see it and I haven't seen it yet! I'm confident you will find it, at just the right time. It's out there somewhere. Here's to living your dreams (and you're just as old as you feel.)


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