Thursday, 24 October 2013

Greece - Galaxidi, a harbour town.

Until the late 19th Century Galaxidi, located on the northern side of the Gulf of Korinthos, was a prosperous merchant marine harbour town. Let me say that it still is a well to do place judging by the leisure boats and goodly amount of quayside tavernas. However, it was the connection to its merchant marine days that gave it stature. It traded as far afield as England and used a fleet of near 400 two- and three masted schooners going all over the Med. These days there is a small presence of Athenian second home owners ensuring the visible understated affluence.
We went to have a look because you get a glimpse of it from the bypass road above the town and that view is just so inviting.

The northern entry road takes you right through the centre of town, not that we knew it, narrow roads with twice having to wait for people to move their vehicles so that Fifi the motorhome can pass. This results in much animated discussion by locals and a pity or perhaps a blessing that we cannot understand what is being said.
We stopped at the bakery on the town square just to rub it in that we are there and I came back with a freshly baked bread and a pastry with soft melted cheese inside, just to show the locals we do intend to support the local economy.

Fifi the motorhome found suitable parking next to the harbour and so we went for a look around.

Parked for the night on the opposite pier

View from our overnight parking spot

Nearer the harbour entrance you find the sports cruisers

A road leading to a lookout point brings you to a memorial paying homage to those who stayed behind when the merchant sailors went to sea. Beautifully made it shows a mother and her children waving goodbye.

International memorial to the wife of the seafarer, says the plaque.

 The town has some real delights in terms of facades, balconies and colours. We walked some streets at random and came across the following, showing a style and free minded thinking the Grecian way.

Many of the larger houses belonged to and were the homes of merchants in the 19th century. An effort has and is being made to keep at least the facades reflecting that era.

A riot of colours

To say that we found Galaxidi interesting is an understatement, we found it to have a soul and a vibrancy, also when we spoke to locals there was no hesitation from them to engage in conversation. This town is about a merchant past and its harbour which brought it wealth. The evidence is easily seen and still makes for a wonderful visit.

Who said fishing must be messy?

Mountain, sea and a sports cruiser!

As the sun sets at 18:26 ....

.... the tavernas come alive .... 19:32

Thank you Galaxidi for showing us a little something of how Greece can look. Economic times are tough at present in the whole of Greece, but here there is hope and a lighter side to austerity. You felt it and it made the visit that much more enjoyable.

Ooh .... !

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