Before it becomes an archive, and before we all get consumed by the consumption of Christmas, I want to do a post on Pyrgos in Greece, where the Film Festival was on. Pyrgos was generously described in the Lonely Plant as "having nothing of interest to the visitor". Coming from Limerick, which was also described in the Lonely Planet as "best seen through the back window of a bus", I'd like to take the chance to shove their too powerful criticisms up their arses.
The town of Pyrgos is unassuming yes, and incredibly friendly and full of gorgeous, well dressed Greeks. There are lots of great little restaurants serving all the usual Greek home-cooked specials like beef in red sauce, chicken in white wine, meatballs, mushrooms with cheese, deep fried yellow cheese and of course endless Greek salad and feta cheese. In the mornings the town heaved with shoppers out to get the best fo fresh fish, meat and vegetables. The afternoons were sleepy, yes, but that's normal there. After two days the guy at the take away knew how I liked my coffee and cheese pie, yum. The fast food is better than some restaurant food here. Our hotel, the Odysseus, bears a striking character resemblance to Fawlty Towers and is staffed by whacky, funny guys and Miss Lisa. It's on a deserted, undeveloped beach and is simple but relaxing. About 20 minutes away by bus is the ancient city of Olympia where, yes you guessed right, the first Olympic Games were held thousands of years ago.
I spent an hour round the town one morning with my camera and I had great, engaging moments with everyone. They gave me presents of Ouzo and chocolate and salami. Instead of just fecking off with my photos I decided to give something back this time. I took my photos to the local lab, had them all printed, and retraced my steps and gave everyone their photos. It made for an even sweeter few days as now when we passed everyone came out to say hi or to rub my boys heads and shake their hands.
So Lonely Planet, I say (what's that sound you make when you stick your tongue out like a bold child?). And to Pyrgos I say thanks.
These boys were enjoying their lunch at the local butchers shop, as you do. See the cowls on the carcasses, something you rarely see any more.
This man owns the cheese shop and was keen that I got his "beloved" into the photo. She was suitably mortified as you can see.
This gorgeous couple are still obviously bonkers about each other, they have a where they sell Ouzo that they make themselves and store in huge barrels.