Vartolomio - Population 4271
May 6, 2015
So my friends,
It’s the end of my journey in the Peloponnese.
What shall I do?
Visit yet another marble site of Ancient Greece?
Explore the crumbling remains of the Byzantine Empire?
Climb the stone ramparts of one more Venetian Castle?
Admire the aqua view of the sea once again?
I decide on “None of the above.”
I take a detour off the main highway on the Kylini Peninsula in the northwest of the Peloponnese.
I am searching for “Greece.”
I stop at the town of Vartholomio (population 4271).
Now here’s what I’m looking for!
I take a stroll through the uncluttered streets.
I chat with some young folks as they relax at a sunny plaza.
I have lunch with the curious shopkeepers.
I take a coffee alongside a backgammon match.
There’s not another traveler in sight.
Now, here’s a question:
“I grew up in a city of eight million. I live in a city of nine million. So why, when I travel, am I most comfortable, most satisfied, and most pleased when I encounter a town of just four thousand?”
Perhaps my photos reveal the happy answer?
Le Jardin de Temeni is the penultimate stop the Peloponnese. The tiny town of Temeni is on the north coast near Aigio, between Patra and Corinth.
My hosts at this charming guest house were the most helpful and generous I encountered in Greece. On an outdoor terrace, I was served fresh orange juice, eggs, home-made pastries, muffins and preserves. The grounds are planted with orange trees and lemon trees.
The Aquis Mare Nostrum Hotel Thalasso near the Athens Airport is the final stop. Fortunately, my room overlooks the Vravrona Bay … and the ultimate moment.
(The Athens Airport? Next stop: Tirana, Albania.)