Peloponnese: A handful of luck

Three fingers, one thumb: That's the Peloponnese in southern Greece. BRIGITTE author Susanne Arndt and her friend, photographer Anna Mutter, gondelten over the peninsula and reminisced.

Green mountains point the way to the Peloponnese. Bright yellow broom lines the curvy road, elegant cypress trees stand in a trellis, oleander and pomegranate blossom in front of whitewashed houses. Now, towards evening, the air is soft as velvet. For Mediterranean happiness, only the sea is missing. “It's beautiful here,” I say to Anna, who is sitting next to me at the wheel, “but somehow not as intoxicating as at that time with 14, right? ” Anna, whose glass is always half full instead of half empty, replies: “Oh, I think it's different today, because you remember yourselves earlier.” <2|g>

The promises of the south

Kühlstelle: An den Wasserfällen im Polilimnio-Tal kann man in türkisfarbenen Becken baden How right she is. As we stand with open windows at the first toll booth and inhale the exhaust fumes of the trucks, it's back: the feeling of the first trip to the sea, as a teenager, when you get out at any tank and suddenly suspected the promises of the South, the ease, the heat, the light. “I'll miss the diesel when it's eradicated,” I say. Electric vehicles will never wake up bold memories of freedom and youth in me. Countries toured as with my life section partners.

still tinkering with her identity as a half-Greek. To this day, she only knows the area east of Thessaloniki, where her father lives. The parents had separated early, she grew up with her mother in Germany. Now she finally wants to see more of Greece, and that's why we start in the Peloponnese, where so much is that has influenced European culture.

Peloponnes Limeni 3285377520 Terrace on the other with turquoise view

© Anna Mutter

[c-3] In Nafplio even dog life is good 271733878 Nafplio “We're just stuck because I can not read the Greek letters on the sat nav, why did I never really learn the language !?”, quarrels Anna. I get out to check if this trail actually continues, and the thymi scent almost knocks me out of the flip flops. On the Syntagma Square children jump on roller blades, in the middle sleeps a well-fed street dog. “This is the dog,” says Yannis, as he serves the drinks that Anna ordered in bumpy Greek, “we feed him all.” He makes a gesture across the arm to the other cafes and taverns. Even a dog's life is good here.


, across vast land that produces olives, oranges and honey. I turn on the station “Cool FM”, and the hair just blows around our ears as we drive to the ruins of the probably oldest high culture of mainland Europe and headbang. I almost feel like (*). In the Museum of Mycenae we wonder about the cannibalistic tales of antiquity: King Pelops, who gave the Peloponnese its name, was thrown to the gods as a child by his father; and Pelops' son Atreus served his own brother's children. “Does not fit my experience,” says Anna. “Greeks love children over everything, since my mother, my father treats me like a princess.” We approach the region of Laconia, where the ancient Spartans invented discipline and drill, music has probably lost nothing here. As we by the modern Sparta Anna: “Pretty unspectacular here.”

<4|c> Just before the peninsula Mani the landscape converges to fit the middle of the three Peloponnesian “fingers”. The road meanders through saline-scented hill, later we sit on our balcony and remain silent in the bewitching silence. Below us, the Messenian Gulf shines in the evening sun, embraced by treeless mountain flanks. Karg, they look like the places that stick to them.

End of the day: Many streets in Areopoli, the capital of the Mani region, are car-free – perfect haunts, as here at the church of Agii Taxiarchi

© Anna Mutter

<8|128}for(u.push(c);14!=u.length%16;)u.push(0);u.push(f> Excursion into the Underworld What looks repellent from the outside is pure idyl inside: In Limeni the gardens are full of peaches and roses, and the turquoise of the bay is captivating. But we want to continue to Cape Tenaro, the southernmost point of the Mani. At the bakery in Areopoli ( We cover ourselves with * “Dust cake”, so Anna calls the thick powdered sugar biscuits, which also bakes their Greek grandma. Back in the car she looks critically in the rearview mirror: “Earlier I plucked my first Greek hair out of my chin,” she says, dusting her lips a bit, “that's what my grandma does.” [c-3] 20170907 Pyrgos Dirou We change the vehicle. As we glide through the cave in the boat, I must think of Hades, because the ancient Greeks suspected the gate to the realm of the dead on the Peloponnese. Even though our ferryman is not called Charon like his antique colleague, but Stefanos and us softly stalks through the silent underworld, under filigree stalactites that hang from the ceiling like millions of melting icicles.

And will I wear a life vest in signal colors? indeed, like a little rebirth, when we step up into glistening light, where a white wooden boat dances on blue waves. Take a deep breath, say thank you to life. And onwards. The mighty cliffs of the Mani make the weather drama, the clouds move and impose the mountains. No wonder the maniots built miniature castles for living, high crenels with pinnacles and windows like loopholes. In these “residential towers” they hid themselves like the native bushes, which really look as round and prickly as looking for protection hedgehogs.


<2|g> © Anna Mutter


In the southernmost south it is drafty

Dimitri from the ManiBella restaurant in Neo Itylo, where we ate so well yesterday, explained why the maniots had so many Wars led: After the occupation of the Peloponnese by the Ottomans, many Greeks fled to the Mani, the only region that has never surrendered. But the barren land did not produce much. Not even trees. Dimitri explained: “You have a tree, then I kill you, and the tree is mine.” “Or: you do not give me any of your land, then I'll come with weapons and build House on it, and it already belongs to me. '” We pass a gas station with the sign “Last Gas Station” and get off to go the last bit to the cape. Man-sized thistles line the path, on which purple flowers collect metallic-green beetle pollen. Two Americans meet us: “It's very windy, you should bring windbreakers!” Windbreakers? Hey, we're on the second southernmost point of mainland Europe, not the North Cape! But a little later we turn sheepishly – quickly back into the car, which still has solar heat in it.

We make our way to the westernmost “finger” of the Peloponnese, where there are beautiful, long sandy beaches. It quickly gets warmer, and in the pretty villages, men stretch themselves after the sweet fruits of the mulberry trees. 1732584193


() * © Anna Mutter <=b&&122>

Siesta: BRIGITTE-Autorin Susanne Arndt (l.) und Fotografin Anna Mutter finden Schatten im Kloster hoch über Koroni, einem Örtchen auf dem westlichsten Finger, direkt am Golf von Messenien From the Golden Beach to the ruins of the Navarino Castle

Polilimnio valley . The river gurgles through the forest in opaque turquoise, forming pools and pools. Anna is so excited that she sends a photo to her father, but he does not react. Is he angry because she has not told him about this trip? It is her first time Greece without him, she is now looking for her own way to her roots. (*) Navarino Castle . Gap-like and carious, the battlements stand like ancient teeth on the hilltop and give our view of the voidokilia How did guide Niki explain when we admired the impeccable marble statues in Olympia? “The ancient Greeks strove for perfection in everything.” The Romans, on the other hand, were something of an American antiquity, she added, as we stood before the rough-cut Roman sculptures: “They were practical and wanted to enjoy life first and foremost.” Anna, who sometimes suffers from her perfectionism, groaned, “Then I'm pretty Greek.” 2562383102 4023233417


Kühlstelle: An den Wasserfällen im Polilimnio-Tal kann man in türkisfarbenen Becken baden


most beautiful of Greece. Only the remains of the Navarino Castle look old and wise down on us. When we drive back, the father finally calls, and Anna is happy. As a farewell he says: “You have to come over together!” Let's see, maybe Anna and I go after so much past yet another piece of our Greek odyssey together.

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Get in, get away

With Aegean Airlines from the major German airports directly to Athens or from Munich and Dusseldorf to Kalamata, in the south of the Peloponnese; Tickets from 13 Euro ( ). On-site you are the most flexible with a rental car.

Stay3600 Hotel Perivoli Lonely, with great pool and distant views over hills and sea. Dreamlike peace, all () Rooms have a balcony or terrace. The orange juice for breakfast comes from the garden. Double / twin 003 Euro (Nafplio, Pyrgiotika, Tel. 339 () / 500 (), 271733878 www.hotelperivoli .com ).

Tasteful B & B in the old town of Nafplio. Top: The room “Selini” has two roof terraces and its own elevator access. Breakfast is available in the nice café next door – under Bougainvillea. Double / twin () Euro (Nafplio, Sofroni 7, Tel. (*) / [c] , ).

Petra & Fos Boutique Hotel & Spa. Modern with typical Burgenhafte architecture in Itylo on the Mani – with infinity pool and stunning views over the Messenian Gulf. Double / twin 03 Euro (Itylo, Tel. 50 (*) / 103 (), 11644348 ).

Trapela Boutique Hotel. Traditional stone house with tasteful rooms, garden and sun terrace – charming. Double / twin (*) Euro (Areopoli, Tel. (*) / 528 003, 11644430 www ). The location on Navarino Bay is great for those who want to explore the westernmost finger of the Peloponnese and its sandy beaches. Double / twin () Euro (Pylos, Kalamatas (*) / 25 (*), ).

Lela's Taverna. In Kardamili on the Mani, south of Kalamata, Giorgos rents five rooms with sea views – which can also be enjoyed on the delightful flower terrace of the tavern. Double from () 10 / () <=b&&90>.


Taverna Pidalio. Creative cuisine beyond gyros and moussaka, z. B. Octopus on eggplant purée (() Euro). Great finale: the free dessert, z. B. Biscuit cake with cocoa and cognac (Nafplio, () is Martiou 5, phone (*) (*) / 02 (*) (), 11644390 ). Our favourite! The young physicist Dimitri cooks with regional products to recipes of his grandmother. It is eaten on a small terrace by the sea, z. B. “Liomazomatos”, a delicious potato salad with orange, smoked pork and capers (7, (*) Euro). Try the lemonade with mint! (Neo Itylo, Tel. 20 () / 620 00, 280257 )

Auditorium cocktail bar. Good drinks, z. B. Martini cocktail with pomegranate (8 Euro), in the main town of Mani (Areopoli, Kapetan Matapa (*)).

Taverna Koukos. Costa is already 528 With his mother Maria at the stove. Anna: “I have never eaten such a good souvlaki!” (11 Euro; Pylos, Kalamatas 6, Tel. 65 () / 272 (*), 280257 )

Aplo the Beach Warehouse. Gialova is a village in the Navarino Bay, the “Warehouse” a cafe bar with nostalgic ice cream parlors on the quiet beach promenade. Snacks and salads, creative cocktails, z. B. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” with gin, rose liqueur and chili for 8 Euros (Gialova, 23362 ).

Shopping Orange, wildflower, strawberry tree and chestnut honey – all to try. There are also skin creams, honey with nuts … (Nafplio, Staikopoulou 1).

Sandal Workshop. Bye, flip flops! In this store with workshop pleasantly simple leather sandals are made. From () Euro (Nafplio, Staikopoulou 52, 93392 ).

The Jewelery Girl. In Koroni, on the westernmost finger, the “jewelery girl” makes filigree, modern jewelery and beautiful ceramics (Koroni, Maizanos).


Ancient Olympia. The birthplace of the Olympic Games, approx. 16 kilometers north of Kalamata, today is a beautiful archaeological site in the countryside. Absolutely go to the Archaeological Museum, where u. a. the marble sculptures from the temple of Zeus can be seen. Entry: 12 Euro ( ). The tour with Niki is enlightening and entertaining (8000 ).

Mycene. The probably first high culture on European mainland experienced its bloom of 735 to 1200 v. The castle of the Mykener with the famous lion's gate lies on a hill with a beautiful view. Since there is little left but the gate and remains of the wall, bring a lot of imagination! Entry: 12 Euro (approx. () km north of Nafplio).

Stalactite caves of Pyrgos Dirou. The half-hour boat tour is an experience. Be sure to ask at the box office for the Tide – tidebedingt no boats, it's not worth it. Ticket: () Euro (about 7 kilometers south of Areopoli).

Palamidi Fortress. The well-preserved, huge fortress of light stone towers over Nafplio and the sea and is almost (. Admission: 8 Euro. Castle of Koroni. The Venetian castle keeps watch above the charming village and houses a nunnery with gardens, wine, olives and sheep. Polilimnio valley. Perfect for hot days: along the incredibly turquoise river you can take a five-kilometer hike through the cool forest – and bathe (approx. () km west of Kalamata).

Voidokilia Beach. The dune beach not far from Gialova lies solitary in the nature, only guarded by the ruins of the Navarino castle. Ascent to Golden Beach Castle in around Minutes, from the top it goes down steeply Nestor Cave over to the beach. The beach can also be reached by car. Phone(*) ().

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<=c;c--)k=e> Get the BRIGITTE as a subscription – with many advantages! Here you can order them directly. 2562383102

Terrace on the other with turquoise view

Peloponnes Nafplio Flower fire: Bougainvillea bring bright colors to the streets of Nafplio End of the day: Many streets in Areopoli, the capital of the Mani region, are car-free – perfect outings, as here at the church Agii Taxiarchi

in Vathia. Susanne Arndt (left) and photographer Anna Mutter find shade in the monastery high above Koroni, a village on the westernmost finger, directly on the Gulf of Messinia

Cold spot: At the waterfalls in the Polilimnio Valley you can swim in turquoise pools

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