We're back in Greece! I LOVE being here. It's November and it's currently 26 °C out (79 °F).
When we left Greece for Italy a few weeks ago, we choose to take the overnight ferry from Patra, Greece to Bari, Italy as our means of transportation. I originally just viewed Patra as a port city and a place we needed to travel through to catch the ferry. But I ended up really enjoying my time there. When planning our route back to Greece, we thought we might fly directly from Rome to Athens, but we decided to take the scenic route and took the overnight ferry back too. I was surprised to find myself being excited at the prospect of being in Patra again. The city has a beautiful pathway along the sea, with workout areas and parks. And the pedestrian-only streets filled with restaurants and patios were super fun to walk along.
After just one night in Patra, we caught the 8:30am bus to Kalamata, where we've rented an apartment for the next two weeks. Kalamata is in the southern part of the Peloponnese peninsula, on the Mediterranean. The bus ride took us about 4 hours with sweeping views of the coastline along the way. I'm so happy to be back in this amazing country, with all the gyros I can eat, warm sun, ancient ruins, stunning mountain ranges, and welcoming people.
We've been renting an apartment in Kalamata for the last two weeks. This small city of 70,000 people is probably filled with tourists in the summertime, but in mid-November, it's quiet with a mostly local crowd. We spent our two weeks here focused on personal projects, heading down to the water or visiting a local souvlaki place whenever we felt like we needed an outing. One of the days was spent doing a 26km hike through the mountains.
We're heading back to Canada, via Athens, in a few days, and though I'm going to miss Greece, I'm also looking forward to going home to see my parents, sit on my own sofa, and plan our next adventure.
Our 26 km Kalamata Hike
Our hike lead us on very lightly trafficked paved and dirt roads up through the mountains, with sweeping views of Kalamata and the water below. We took a taxi from our apartment to the start of our hike, hiked all the way up to the church at the end of the road, called Ekklisia Agios Georgios, at the peak of the mountain, then walked all the way back to our apartment. This is a DIFFICULT hike, we did it on a cooler day in November, we are in good shape, and have lots of uphill hiking experience.
The taxi dropped us off at a started point a few kms from the downtown area of Kalamata. The exact location we started the hike was LAT 37.01307 LON 22.16249 at 160m in elevation then we followed the roads up the mountain to the church with the location LAT 37.01453 LON 22.19124 at an elevation of 1330m. The hike from our starting point, to the church, then all the way back to downtown Kalamata took us about 6 hours and we covered 26km. Click here for a gpx file from the portion of the hike between the start and the church.