Almost Finished in Viotia

By , 18/07/2014 16:42

I have just two days left in Leivadia, before I return to Athens early on Monday morning. It will be strange to be back in Athens after 2 weeks in a very quiet town, but I am looking forward to returning to Syros on Tuesday, and seeing the rest of my family when they arrive in Greece in 12 days.

The weather this week has been cooler than my first two weeks – Tuesday was overcast, and wet with a short thunderstorm passing over in the morning, and a longer one lasting a couple of hours in the afternoon. Wednesday was just overcast. It made a nice change to be able to work in cooler weather.

The last couple of days, the weather has improved and the temperatures are heading up again, yesterday was sunny in Leivadia itself, but overcast when I went back to the beach at Antikyra. Today has been sunny in the morning, but it has clouded over now and we’ve had a (very light) rain shower.

This is probable the first time I’ve been in Greece and seen a prolonged spell of not-so-sunny weather – it is still warm though; I’m still only in t-shirt and shorts. I think from Sunday onwards the long, hot, sunny days I will look for when I go to the beaches of Syros next week will make a return. I think it is partly due to the area of Greece I am in that the weather is like this.

The Church On A Mountain

Leivadia Church

On Monday I decided to climb the mountain above the springs of Levadia, in order to visit the little church there is up there. It’s only small, but looks quite impressive built in to the rocks – especially at night when it’s all lit up. It’s quite a climb up there, but the views over the town from the top at the top are rather impressive.

Leivadia View from Church

Above: View of Leivadia from the church.

Below: Inside the Church.

Inside the Church

I even got the chance to take a video (below)…

Back to Antikyra

Ag. Isidoros

Yesterday afternoon, in need of another swim, I got the bus back to the coastal village of Antikyra (Αντίκυρα). The end of the bus line is at the beach of Ag. Isidoros (Αγ. Ισίδωρο). It was very busy on Saturday, so I left in in favour of Antikyra’s own beach, which is narrower – and therefore not as busy. Yesterday however, it not being a Saturday, it was quieter.

It was also overcast by the time got there, but that didn’t put me off: I found a nice spot at the end of the beach, under a tree, and went for my swim. It was my first “proper” swim of the holiday: I was in the water for a good 45 minutes.

It was the first beach quiet enough that I had plenty of space, with the added bonus that I didn’t need to worry about leaving my valuables unattended (when I was on the beaches near Athens, that was always a concern). I also enjoyed being able to swim quite far out and still be standing not more than waist deep in water. It’s also sandy underfoot once you get away from the water’s edge.

After enjoying my swim and drying off, I walked back in top the main village – about a 15 minute walk. With the sun setting, another hour until the bus, and another hour after that until I’d be back at the house in Leivadia, I went in search of something to eat. Though Antikyra has it’s tourists, they are mainly Greek, so the tavernas and restaurants were empty even at 8 in the evening. This turned out to be quite useful when I chose a cheap little gyro place to have a cheap bite to eat.

After so many years coming to Greece for my holidays, I am more than comfortable ordering my own food & drink in a taverna, and asking for the bill, etc. Even when I’m not the one paying, as the Greek speaker in the family I’ve been the one asking for the bill probably for the last 10 years.

It was when we were on Thassos I learned how to ask for the bill in Greek, so that would have it at either 2004 or 2006. Usually I’d say «Ο πατέρας μου θέλει των λογαριασμό» (“My father would like the bill”). This year I’ve been doing it the more Greek way, saying simply: «Παρακαλώ…» (to get the waiter’s attention): «Να σας πληρώσω». This more colloquial expression I copied from a group of Greeks in a taverna in Delphi the other day.

Arriving in the little gyro place on the sea front in Antikyra, I ordered my food and started talking to the waiter there; he could tell I was not Greek bus wasn’t sure where I was from. For some reason, when I explained I was from England, he asked me «Ξέρεις Εδιμβούργο;» (Do you know Edinburgh?) Anyway… I used this as an opportunity to explain to him how I’ve learned Greek, and about my Grand Tour of Greece – where in the area I’m staying and about the work I’m doing in Leivadia.

I get a huge amount of satisfaction from being able to hold a long conversation entirely in Greek, especially when it ends with «Μιλάς πάρα πολύ καλά Ελληνικά, έχεις καλή προφορά». I now know that προφορά = accent or pronunciation.

After paying my bill (just €3), the waiter thanked me, wished me «καλό ταξίδι» (good travel) – and before I left I managed to get him to take a photo of me.

By popular request (repeated texts from Mum ever since I got here), here is a photo with me actually in it, taken by my friend in Antikyra, just next to the table where I sat for my meal.

Me in Antikyra

This is one of the reasons I love coming to Greece so much: the φιλοξενία (hospitality – the Greek word for which is made of the words “friend” and “foreigner/guest/stranger”): they welcome everyone to their country as friends, and they definitely appreciate any effort made by a foreigner to speak their language.

Right… I’m off for a short siesta now. I’ll try and write again once I get back to Athens.

Bye for now,


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