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Kalamata, Greece


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This is not really a huge thread, with tons of interesting pictures that could make

people say WOW, but I wish to give you a small introduction to my hometown,

Kalamata, Greece. Although I was born in the US, I spent all my early years in

Kalamata. When I was growing up, Kalamata was growing with me, too, from 45,000

residents to about 60,000., a very impressive increase that happened within 17 years.

Kalamata used to be a very important port of Greece, but things changed

dramatically after the 2nd World War, when many people moved to Athens (pop. 4.5

million) in search of a better future. Today, Kalamata is still famous for its olives and

olive oil, its silk scarfs and its figs. Located near the mountains (20-30 minutes to the

top) and the water, Kalamata has some advantages over many Greek cities, yet it is

not as touristy place. It is the capitol of Messinia (something like a state, except about

the size of two counties), the home state of Spyro Agnew's parents. Telly Savallas'

parents, also, were from a village not far from Kalamata, although part of a

neighboring state (to the East). The list of famous people from Kalamata includes

Yanni, the internationally known musician/composer, who also lived near my house.

Kalamata doesn't have high-rises, but it is very dense and has lots of 4-7 story

mid-rises. Back in 1986 the city was nearly leveled by a very strong earthquake, but

has been slowly recovering since then. While the following pictures show NOTHING

special about Kalamata, I can assure you that the pedestrian activity is very intense

and so is the traffic near the beach, especially during summer time. There are lots of

restaurants, bars, clubs, coffee shops, and anything you can possibly imagine. People

there have the option to stay out until 5am or even 6am.... a "right" that they

exercise constantly, Monday thru Sunday. This explains why everything is quiet

between 2pm and 5pm (people need to get some rest). This introduction is totally

unimpressive, so please don't draw conclusions. When my own pictures are

completely scanned, you will see the other side of the city and its true urban fabric.


At the central square:


At the port:


Taygetos mountain:


A few images of the Messinian Bay Hotel (southeast Kalamata):





Pharae Palace Hotel... about 3 blocks from my house:


Elite Hotel, to the east:





Near the City Hall, at Rex Hotel:



Part of Filoxenia Hotel, where I had my wedding reception:


Honestly, I do not know this guy... he must be a visitor:


The same guy, at the train station:


Photos from Inner Wish's concert in Kalamata (it is a Greek Heavy Metal band):



A not-so-clear picture of Kalamata at night, from the sea level:


And a sunset above Kalamata:


Some visitors... totally unknown to me:


General views from the East (you can see the proximity to both the water and the mountains):



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I will visit Greece before I die.

I will visit Greece before I die.

I will visit Greece before I die.

I will visit Greece before I die.

I will visit Greece before I die.

I will visit Greece before I die.

I will visit Greece before I die.




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Thanks guys. These are not the pics I wanted to use as an introduction to my hometown. The whole "tour" feels so out of place and wrong, but I had to use some images. In the future I will use some pictures that show more interesting parts of the town, but mainly I will include my own photos.

monsoon: You are right, I took a trip to Kalamata this past September. Unfortunately, I did not have a digital camera back then, so I was limited to my regular SLR. However, I took 3 rolls of film with me, which I used to the last shot. The results were good, but I must find the time to scan them all before I post them here.

Cotuit: You will definitely have to visit Greece. There are LOTS of truly beautiful places to see. The weather is pretty nice, and so is the surrounding nature. There is a sense of freedom in many aspects of life, which you will appreciate. Even though my recent visit was emotionally intense (family health issues), I felt so rested during my stay there, and only when I returned here I went into the stressful mode again... which has affected my very health. I arrived in Athens before noon, got to my hometown around 3:30pm, went to bed around 6pm, woke up before 10pm, and went out around 1:15am (yes, after midnight). I came back home around 3am and slept until 12 noon. Next day, one of my best friends came by and picked me up with his motorcycle for a quick tour and coffee... The rest of my visit was dedicated to my family, and only when they needed rest I went out with my friends. When a town of 70,000 has around the clock life, you can guess how much fun you can have in more touristy places, especially the big cities (Athens/Pireaus, Thesalloniki, Patras, etc). Yes, try to visit Greece some time in the future, but not next summer... the Olympic Games will not be a fun time to visit.

Here is another night picture of Kalamata; cafes along the main road:


The pictures below are from Kypasissia, a town of about 10000 people. It is located to the west side of Messinia, about one hour from Kalamata. All right, this is not a big city, but you can see how dense it is. The grid is used for the most part of the city, and the mid-rises reach as high as 7 stories:





Outside Kalamata:




This is rumored to be the largest castle in Mediterranean... Of course you only see a part of it:


Remember the movie "Canons of Navarone"? Well, here is the town of Navarino/Pylos (Navarone), which the movie was referring to. The waters outside the port go over 35,000 feet in depth:


Pylos - There is always time for coffee:


Pylos - House of Olympian Champion Kostis Tsiklitiras, the Greek Olympic athlete who won 4 medals (nobody lives there now):


Pylos - An interesting case of a restaurant (Restaurant 1930)... Yes, this is the interior:


Olive trees everywhere:


Thanks fo looking into my pictures. I will try not to add more... unless I find something really nice.

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These coffee shops are very typical. There are tons of truly nice cafes (not restaurants) that would make it extremely hard for you to choose. There is one more thing: ACs are not popular, which is OK because the climate is different and you don't really need AC, but people are so accustomed to sitting outside that you would insult them if you asked them to sit inside :) Some people do, but outside is always popular, even during winter time.

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