For our second day in the Peloponnese, Jocelyn and I drove up to Polidroso (also known as Tsitsina, its Turkish name), a charming village in the Parnassos mountains. This was supposed to be our hottest day in this area, so a move to higher elevations made sense.
We packed our hiking gear and headed north in our tiny car (which barely has an engine).
The area around Polidroso is heavily wooded, filled with pine trees and rocky cliffs.
We walked up a logging road…
… then clambered up, up, up a steep trail, and eventually found ourselves on another dirt road. This one was dotted with beehives.
Jocelyn called this road “reptile way.”
And there were beautiful wildflowers, too.
The trails in this area are unusually well signed…
… though we were not always so decisive.
One of the wonderful things about the mountains in Lakonia is that there are public springs — often designed with fancy spouts — all over the place. In this case, we found one in the middle of our journey.
It was a hot and tiring hike — we enjoyed a rest at a small bridge near a very active dragonfly population near the bottom.
Overall, though, we had a great hike…
And I was glad to find another spring at the bottom of the trail!
For lunch, we tried to go to my favorite inn, Pritanio, but it was closed! We stole a few of their cherries (thanks, Pritanio!).
We drove into the center of Polidroso and found the one place that was open, a small coffee shop. They served us a simple but elegantly presented late lunch.
The town itself is great to walk around.
Jocelyn then drove a long way down the mountains …
… and to Valtaki beach near Gytheio. This beach is famous for the wreck of the ship Dimitrios, which hit the coast in 1981 and has been there ever since.
We took about a million pictures here, because it is remarkably beautiful — and you can walk right up to it.
It’s gorgeous up close.
Someone has done graffiti on the ship’s side (both professional-looking and not).
I liked this letter “T” …
… and I think that this rusted-out section looks like Singapore!
We spent a long time investigating the hull.
The beach itself was lovely, sandy with some nice rocks and a few shells (and empty of amenities save for a taverna on one else).
If you’ve never seen a shipwreck up close, I would highly recommend it — what a fascinating (and unexpected) experience).