Part 5 (of 12)
Nik’s mother grew up in Nea Kallikratia, in northern Greece, near Thessaloniki, the 2nd largest city in Greece. Kallikratia is a beach town on the peninsula of Halkidiki on the Aegean Sea, and is a very popular vacation spot for residents of Thessaloniki. This summer, it appeared that the town had become a hot vacation spot for Russians, as evidenced by the large number of fur stores with Russian signs!
We spent almost two weeks in Kallikratia. In that time we took a couple day trips, and one longer trip. But we mostly just went to the beach every morning, went snorkeling, came home, enjoyed Thea Salomi’s incredible food, took a long nap, walked around town in the evening, and basically lived a charmed life. One can get used to sitting on the beach, snorkeling, and relaxing almost every day for two weeks! In that time, we also witnessed the drama of the doughnut salesman. Nik has told that story here and also has a great picture of the beach at Kallikratia.
One highlight of my time there was getting to hold Manoli, Nik’s nephew, who was born just a few weeks before we got there. (He was a few weeks premature, which explains why he is so tiny in these pictures.)
One day, Thea Salomi drove with us and we visited Nik’s grandfather’s land. (Siblings, remember how you were impressed that Nik was a Greek landowner? This is the land! Nik, his brother, and his cousins own the back half of this land together.)
About 15 or so years ago, Nik’s grandparents sold their land to a developer who tore down the house and built an apartment building in its place. Now Nik’s aunt and uncle live in the building and Nik’s mom has an apartment in it too. We stayed on the 4th floor of the same building in another apartment, and here’s the view we woke up to every day:
That’s the local church (Greek Orthodox, of course.)
Here’s one of a few beaches that we went to, just outside of Kallikratia. This little beach had a lot of little cool black fish:
Here we are with Nik’s family:
Thea Salomi and Theo Kyriakos (Nik’s mom’s brother)
Nik’s cousin Thora (“th” pronounced like the “th” in “the”) and nephew Manoli
(And for the record, that is probably the most tan I will ever be in my whole life!)
Baby Manoli, or “Manoli Cannoli” as I liked to call him. (I suppose that joke would have been funnier if we had been in Italy, not Greece!)
At night, we often went for a walk down to the beach, to enjoy the atmosphere, to contemplate the various tempting food offerings, and to watch the sun set.
And so, we don’t have so many pictures to show of our time in Kallikratia. We just lived life, enjoyed being with Nik’s family, and ate a lot of really great food. We especially enjoying meeting some of Nik’s mother’s friends, who were all so glad to see us. I felt very welcome there. Americans very rarely make it to northern Greece and I think I heard an American accent maybe once in the two weeks we were in Kallikratia. In that time, I picked up a little bit of Greek and gained a greater appreciation for my students who live in a world not of their own language every day.
In our time at Kallikratia we also went to the Sithonia Peninsula, Thessaloniki, Phillipi, Kavala, Xanthi, and the island of Thassos.
to be continued…