Wrestled our luggage into the two-man elevator to the lobby this morning and got a taxi to Athens airport (which seems to be near a town named Marcoupoulos for some reason) where our rental car awaited. Formalities sorted, we piled everything into a zippy little Ford Focus, fired up Mable (our GPS) and set off for the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Now actually an island since the Corinth Canal was dug from the Gulf of Corinth to the Aegean, it continues to be known by the old name.
The autoroute thundered over the canal with nary a mention so we missed it, while we tried to figure out the little Ford’s mysterious voice-control system using the Greek language handbook. First priority was to change the voice-guidance from Greek to English. That turned out to be too complicated so we went back to using Mable and assorted maps and guidebooks. Gas by the way, sells for E1.70/litre.
Lunch hour arrived while still on the four-lane road, so we turned into a service center and discovered the diner was run by Goody’s. Enthralled with the marble floors and spotless latrines, we ate our first hamburger in two months and enjoyed it.
Back on the road, the highway soon dissolved into a two-lane road which got progressively smaller as we bored on southwest to the farthest finger of the Peloponnese and the tiny hilltop village of Lachanada where we were to meet the owner of our rental villa penthouse. (OK, the upper floor of his villa). By now the roads were seriously tiny and the village slumbered in the late afternoon heat. Reggie managed to find an English couple who had moved there for their retirement and they knew someone who had a phone so we could call Alfred our host. We found the only café in town and grabbed a quick beer in the 8 minutes that it took him to arrive. He turned out to be a retired Austrian electrical engineer who had built his house himself, even including an elevator!
Setting off in his 4X4, Alfred ominously turned into smaller and smaller trails as we jounced through ancient olive groves over goat trails that quickly became hamster trails. Finally we burst into a clearing and there stood a thoroughly modern villa, surrounded by olive trees with a commanding view over the countryside to the sea. The silence was stunning after the cacophony of Athens and very welcome after a long, hot day. So was the air-conditioning. How he got all the building materials up here mystifies me.
You can see it on Google Earth at N 36 49’ 2.62” and E 21 49’ 14.35”. Cute as a button.