Another Beach Day (& What Greece Needs)

Day VIII:  Another beach day – we slept in and then headed out to Mavrovouni.  We didn’t get far at first, though; we saw Dimitrius (George’s cousin) sitting at the tavern in Koumani as we drove by, and he invited us to stop for a coffee.  So we hung out with him and two other guys for a little while.  Then we continued on our beach day.  There’s not much to write about when you go to the beach (and we haven’t taken any pictures at this point), so I’ll offer a list that Pres and I have been creating as we’ve traveled:

Things Greece has that we wish we could find in the US

Good Greek food

Lots of easily accessible public beaches with chairs and umbrellas

More dining al fresco

Women of all shapes and sizes willing to wear bikinis

A lack of “don’t go here, you’ll fall off” signs

Sour cherry juice

Taverns in every village where everyone knows everyone (and the cars honk “hello” when they go by)

Things Greece needs:

Screens in the windows

Stop lights at major intersections

Guard rails and road shoulders

Bathtubs

Bread with character

Pharmacies open on the weekend (and stores in general open on Sunday)

Wait staff at restaurants who pay attention to you

Swamp chillers (air conditioners with humidifiers, for those of you not up on your HVAC lingo)

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We had dinner at the taverna in Koumani.  Things always take longer than I think they will in Greece — we chose to eat here on the theory that it would be “fast,” but sitting down at a restaurant doesn’t necessarily connect to anyone feeding you.  I was afraid that the long dinner would make us late to the olive oil festival in Sellasia (we arrived a little after 9:30), but I shouldn’t have worried (instead, I should’ve told myself:  no one in Greece goes to sleep before midnight).

Sure enough, the festival was in full swing.  It’s a small village festival (said to attract about 15,000 people over three days) that takes place every year.  The booths with vendors selling their wares reminded us of festivals back home, though there seemed to be less to buy (especially in the way of food) than we’re used to.  This festival seemed to be focused mostly on dressing nicely, sitting with family, and listening to the live band.   The highlight for me — aside from the general ambiance — was the tangerine gelato.

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