Not the one in Libya. And for that matter, not the one in Lebanon.
I am talking. . .‘our’ Tripoli – the one in the Greek Peloponnese. The one located about half way between our home in The Mani to its west as it is from Athens to its east. A two hour drive from either direction will get you there.
|Overview of Tripoli Photo credit: traveltripolis.gr
It’s one of the largest cities in the prefecture of Arcadia, And it boasts a population of somewhere between 26,000 and 42,000 depending on which Greek statistics you want to use. We know its a big city because it rates more than one exit from the Athens – Kalamata highway.
I have to admit we've driven past those exits numerous times - as we've done with other such cities and villages along our route -- speculating on whether or not to go explore. Other ex pats had recommended the place for car repairs or for shopping. Certainly, not for a getaway.
But on this particular trip we decided it was time to check out the neighbor to our north.
The distance between the highway and the city center is a long boring stretch of unimaginative buildings that house car repair shops and industrial equipment (down-right dull and certainly not inviting) that we could understand why no one we knew went there for a get-away.
But after that introduction, we were blown away by the city itself!
It was a treat to arrive at the main square, a bustling place where cars and pedestrians jostled for space. We found a curb-side parking spot several blocks away and set off to find our hotel with the clack-clack-clack rhythm of our suitcase wheels alerting those we passed, that tourists had arrived in town.
|St. Basil's Square Tripoli
We were in search of a 4-star hotel that had been highly recommended on a number of traveler review sites. A 4-star. . .in this Tripoli!? Somewhat skeptical, (based on our preconceived notions of the city), we decided to take a look before we booked a room there. A few stops to ask directions and we arrived at the Hotel Anaktourikon (also called Anactoricon) – the oldest hotel in the city. Those travelers reviews had not steered us wrong! It was 4-star!
|We arrived at the Hotel Anaktoricon Tripoli
Being off-season there was availability and we could choose the room we wanted. After looking at a couple we chose one with a balcony overlooking the pedestrian street. The bed was as comfortable as a Marriott bed and a 2016 renovation had made the hotel’s interior simply stunning.
|A room at Hotel Anaktoricon - Tripoli, Photo credit: Hotel Anaktoricon
|Breakfast buffet was included in the room rate at Hotel Anaktorikon Tripoli
|Newspapers on paper are alive and well in Greece
Directly across the square from the church we found the somewhat famous Mega Kafenion, the Grand Cafe, a place that has drawn locals and visitors for more than a century and has become a trademark of Tripoli. Elderly Greek men gathered around several tables played Backgammon and sipped Greek coffees at the time of day we stopped by.
|Mega Kafenion, the Grand Café, is a trademark of Tripoli
Back down the pedestrian street we went past one of the city's many museums, this one the Archaeological Museum, housed in one of the stunning neoclassical buildings - there are many such buildings here. Past the Malliaropouleio Theatre, that overlooks another of the city’s squares, Petrinou Square. Open since 1905, two theatre groups are based here and give performances and host events throughout the year.
|Malliaropouleio Theater - Tripoli
|A chocolate bistro - our kind of place Tripoli
|Areos Square - Tripoli
It is definitely worthy of a 'get-away' whether you live just down the road as we do or are visiting the Peloponnese as a tourist!
Travel Tip: We found that hotel we stayed in on Booking.com. When I put in my date the site said, 'One room left. 125-euros’. Knowing it was off-season and the likelihood of the hotel having only one room left, we decided we’d go directly to the hotel and check it out first. As I said above, we had a choice of rooms and paid 65-eruos. Just sayin’ . . .
For more information on Tripoli check out their tourist website at http://www.traveltripolis.gr (its in Greek and English).
That’s it for this week. Safe travels to you and yours. Hope to see you back here next week. Bring some friends and family with you! Thanks again for the time you spend with us!
Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Weekend Travel InspirationBest of Weekend