45 days ago
The last guests of the year arrive at the Greek Hovel today. It is October but the sun has kept the pool warm and it stays open until the end of the month. Then it shuts down until April. But you can still swim in the sea in November and it will be a lot warmer than Whitby in August. In fact, the best time to visit Greece is about now. For starters, everything from air flights to hotels (and hovels) are so much cheaper.
817 days ago
It was Uncle Johnny’s last full day with us and after the trek to and from Mistras the previous day it was agreed we would do nothing all day. Nothing all day at the Greek Hovel used to mean wandering around snake spotting. These days it means dipping into the library of books out at the hovel or just dipping into the swimming pool which, notwithstanding the water shortage affecting us and the whole village of Kambos, was full at all times. Yes, I do know what you are thinking!
827 days ago
Long term readers and classical scholars will know that while Constantinople fell to the infidel in 1453, a few outposts of the Byzantine empire held out a bit longer. Among them was Mistras in southern Greece, the Despotate of the Morea which held out until 1460. Its citadel is Mistras: a collection of old churches and abandoned houses on the slopes of a hill near Sparta with a ruined castle on its peak. Lower down, but within the old outer walls, there are monasteries.
2342 days ago
As I mentioned earlier, the Despotate of the Morea based at Mistras is noted not just for its military power but also as an early flowering of the renaissance in terms of art.
Having clambered up to the top of the fortress alone, I wandered down to where the Mrs was resting and we walked to see the Byzantine churches at the base. I hope that the photos below convey the glory of what we discovered inside, murals which on their own make Mistras a place to visit.
2342 days ago
The road to Mistras was an "interesting" drive but it was worth it as we headed round a corner and suddenly saw this great fortress on a hill. This truly is a place you must visit, yet, as we entered the site, there were just six cars in the car park. It is a hidden gem
The site was originally built by the Frankish prince William II of Villehardouin and lies on a spur of Mount Taygetos a few miles from the town of Sparta. Its claim to fame is that it was a Byzantine outpost long after Byzantium itself was in decline and falling. The Despotate of Morea controlled the whole of the Peloponnese between 1348 and 1460 with the Turks over-ran the area.
In part one of this article
2345 days ago
You want photos of Mistras? You really should for it is truly an amazing place but patience dear friends, let me first tell you about our journey there. The Mrs was in charge of logistics....yes, I know, but I am a feminist so I did not kick up a fuss.
And so it was decided
2354 days ago
It was towards the end of the visit by the Mrs to Greece that we drove up to Mistra, a place that I had never visited before. I shall do a three part photo series on the trip shortly - as i while away my evenings at the Greek Hovel - but on the off chance you are planning a trip to Greece soon ensure that you visit this incredible place. Meanwhile here is the Mrs offering a side profile which now reminds me of East Anglia. She looks amazing don't you think?
2355 days ago
Why are shares in TrakM8 (TRAK) plunging. This is not a "Winni-wobble." The company needs to make a statement either officially or via its spokesman on earth, Paul Scott. Elsewhere, after a visit to Mistras which was amazing, I look at Gulf Keystone (GKP), death merely postponed, Avanti Communications (AVN ) - ditto - Edenville Energy (EDL) ditto and Cyan (CYAN) where I explain who is shafting Joe Retail: brokers and management.