We eagerly were waiting for the 3-days off (due to celebration of the Holy Spirit). Even though the weather was sunny the whole month, the week before the weekend, rain was included in a daily basis. For this reason, we were undecided up to the last moment on where our destination would be.
On Friday night and according to the last weather forecasts, we decided to move south, direction to Peloponissos and specifically to Messinia. Up to that time, the rain didn’t stop pouring … The meeting was settled for 9:15am the next morning, at the café PERIPTERO, at Dafni area.
During our wake that day, the first thing we noticed was the clear sky!!! The day reminded to us summer season, while the temperature was at reasonable levels for the season. Around 9:30am, Vangelis, Panos and Manolis were already at the meeting point and we were discussing the route we were about to go through.
A long time ago I had made the route Korinthos – Tripoli, following the old highway. Having the best impression from that route, I suggested it to the others and indeed they found out that it was a very good idea! We didn’t care about the time that we would arrive at our destination, Gouves (Messinia).
So we started driving, having a lot of desire, first to the boring highway of Athens – Korinthos. We passed the junction Loutraki and followed the signs for Tripoli. Once we paid the tolls near Nemea, we followed the first exit that we’ve met, were the sign was showing Argos and Nafplio.
I need to specify here that by using this route, we didn’t follow the whole old highway from the beginning. If you want to drive on the old highway from the beginning, you need to follow the signs for Ancient Korinthos, and then looking for the signs for Argos and Nafplio.
Once we got on track with the old highway, the route became delightful. We’ve found a few traffic, mainly due to the day (since all the other days traffic is nearly non-existent!). Emotions were mixed up for those who used to drive through that route a long time ago…
En route for Argos, we read a sign showing the path for Dervenakia (2 km). So we took the opportunity to visit that area. There’s no village. The roads leads directly to a monument dedicated to the hero of our Revolution on 1821, Theodoros Kolokotronis. The monument was been raised there due to the high importance, for the course of the Revolution, battle of Dervenakia. From that point we enjoyed the panoramic view of the broad area. A few meters from that point we were standing, there was a small church and a tavern.
We decided to enjoy our coffee on Argos. The reason why, was our friend Giannis. Once we reached the central square of the city, we had the feeling that we were right in the middle of the summer, due to excessive heat! Luckily, the coffees and some cold water that Giannis offered us were the right things we needed to relax. Even though Giannis was in a rush (due to his hotel’s renovation), we had the chance to discuss various topics, for the area and also for the sightseeing it had to offer.
Time was flying, so we decided that the best thing we could do was to depart. We thanked Giannis and promised him that once he finishes up with his hotel’s renovation, we would meet him again. Following the signs for Tripoli, we reached the Myloi village (a familiar village in the past for its Greek souvlaki). After a while – specifically at the familiar restaurant of Adrami – starts the road for Kolosourti. Traffic is at minimum levels.
The route was very delightful. The view was so nice, that we stopped many times for photographs. At some points we found deserted remnants of restaurants, where in the old-time were major stops for travelers to take a rest. For those that have lived that era, the today’s imagery in conjuction with these memories, bring up a melancholic feeling …
Continuing our route, we reached the Steno village, which is the end of the route. A while later we found ourselves driving on the new highway, while the weather was heavily clouded. Heading for Kalamata, we decided to stop at the classic tavern/cafeteria “Platanos” at Kato Assea. As proven a few minutes later, our decision was successful, since it started to rain slightly.
Until the time we finished our food, rain had already stopped and the clouds were moving north. We decided, if weather permitted it, to go to the small church of Agia Theodora (familiar from the plane-trees that are on the church’s roof). Unfortunately, before Megalopolis, rain got us, which –luckily- didn’t last for a long time. Reaching the junction for Agia Theodora, weather wasn’t getting better in order to move to the church. We decided to drive to Kalamata, where the weather appeared to be better…
After passing the village of Tsakona and while reaching the junction for Kiparissia and Kalo Nero, I stopped and suggested to the rest to go and visit a monument of Kolokotronis (for the 2nd time on that trip!). I had traced the signs on another journey I did, but unfortunately I couldn’t visit it, due to the fact that the road was been built that season.
A few minutes later, we found ourselves heading to Kiparissia, targeting the village of Vasiliko, which was the junction for that specific monument. After approximately 15 km we reached the junction where the sign was. We turned left and by following a fresh asphalt for 3-4 km we end up on a dead-end, where a small church existed along with a small area where construction works were been made. Kolokotronis monument was… nowhere!
Obviously, the location was related by some reasons, with Kolokotronis, and they were about to make that monument. Naturally, the responsibles for the monument had installed signs and a brand new road. All these were verified by a local person, that appeared from nowhere, a few minutes later…
Amongst other things, we were informed that the small church we were seeing was there for a very long time ago and was build to honor Agios Stefanos. Locals claim that Kolokotronis was born on that specific location and that he was baptised on a font made of stone, somewhere beyond the place we were standing. The path that leads to that font was unknown, even to that local guy. In reference to the monument that was about to be built, the local person told us that it would be a big statue of the hero riding a horse.
The location offers magnificent panoramic view of the broad area. Additionally, wooden tables were been build, that offered freshness to the visitors, due to the shadows of plane-trees and wild mulberry trees. It’s a fantastic place for a small tour and also to relax a little bit.
After relaxing, we started driving for our final destination, where it would comprise the place of our stay. Once again I found out that even though we visit that area for many years, there are still many places and sightseeing that we haven’t seen and many more that we don’t even know their existence…