A small settlement on the South coast of the Peloponnese penninsula in Greece, Karadymili is a delightful place to visit. I visited it on a day trip from Kalamata, however I recommend that you stay for longer.
How to reach?
I pre-booked a bus ticket for €4 one way, the evening before from the bus stand in Kalamata, and left my bnb stay just in time to catch my 7:00AM bus.
The route was pleasant and when I reached there at around 8:00AM, the town was only beginning to show some signs of activity.
What to do?
Visit the Tower of Moutzinon
As soon as I got off the bus, I was greeted by the most adorable guide, a fluffy, furry dog, who greeted me as if he had been waiting for me and started leading the way. There were barely any people on the street at the time and I wanted to visit an old tower house, called the Tower of Moutzinon, which I came to know about later.
I saw a couple of people but they didn’t speak English, but they stopped a couple of young boys who spoke English to guide me. Greeks are very kind and friendly people who ensured at all points that a translator is available. All young people are fluent in English, the older ones, not so much. They guided me towards the same way that my little furry guide was inclined to follow any way. In company of my new furry friend, I gathered some courage to go on the deserted route. Soon I noticed three British travelers catching up. All three of them were around sixty years of age and were visiting the same tower and were convinced like me that the furry dog was guiding them. It was then that I realized that he was the kind of guide who collects clients and gives equal, undivided attention to all. At the fortress, the British tourists were kind enough to pay for my entrance ticket because they thought I was a student.
Trek to one of the old Byzantine churches
After visiting the old fortress and tower, which didn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, I asked them what they were planning on doing and they told me that they were planning on hiking to one of the old Byzantine churches. With their approval, I joined them for the hike. It was difficult to keep up with them because one of the ladies and the man were almost six feet tall and walked fast, but since they were all older than me, I couldn’t really complain. They gave me a lot of information about the plants in that area and about a lot of other things in general. It was a most pleasant walk, mostly uphill though.
They told me that the Byzantine churches had a central dome and the four projecting flanks on each side made it look like a cross when seen from above and that the symmetry was beautiful. I didn’t know that and though I didn’t get another chance to look at a Byzantine church from the top since then, I will certainly keep on a lookout for the spacial symmetry whenever I get a chance to visit again.
The furry guide walked ahead of us all the while. We finally made it to an old Byzantine church but it was locked. I wondered if they had been inside another one of these churches and they told me that the key can usually be found either on the ledge of the door or the window and you can go in. We were not lucky enough this time around and couldn’t find a key and so I couldn’t get a chance to look at the inside of the church.
Breathe in the views
On our way back, they told me amount the sage plant and how you can rub your fingers on the leaf and smell to identify it. We reached a cottage in shambles on top of a hill which opened into a magnificent panoramic view of the town overlooking the calm blue Mediterranean sea. It was serene.
Apparently the Helen of Troy had once bathed in those beautiful blue waters.
We made our way back in to Karadymili. Here I parted with my co-travelers. I wanted to treat the furry guide for being such a good companion but by the time I came out with a treat from the cafe, he disappeared, only to return later when I was sitting at a table and I had saved his eat for him so I gave it to him. I was hopeful that I would soon be able to take a bus to Kalamata but the next bus was at around 2:00PM and it was only 11:00AM then.
Indulge in local delicacies from one of the many small cafes
I bought myself some walnut cake and orange juice and walked around the little shops. Many tourists were strolling the main street at this time.
Window shopping at art galleries
I strolled around the main street, looking at some of the art galleries, which are always fascinating in Greece. Art is a part of the culture and it is evident in day to day activities of life, such as hanging out the laundry to dry on a clothesline, the arrangement of chairs and tables, arrangement of color coordinated flower pots on the ledge of a window or beautiful, innovative lamps in cafes and restaurants.
Relax by the beach
I went to the beach and relaxed there for some time. There were sunbeds along the beach and it was a beautiful, clear day.
I returned back to Kalamata in the afternoon but I wish I had a few more days there.