Passports & Parsimony

major adventures on a modest budget 

Tolo Tales

Beach Living

Yassas! Welcome to Nafplio. Isn't it beautiful?! It took me an hour and a half by bus (12 Euros) to get here from Athens. This Greek island is beautiful and I was very lucky to stay with a warm Greek family while I was there which made the experience ten times more special. Most of our daily lives are hectic, if its not running for the tram ( my cardio of the day), its checking our screens constantly. It's nice to take some time out to think, close everything off and reflect. These two photos below my friend took on our last day and getting up early was worth to see these sunrises even if we slept an hour before. If I'm going to pick the first top thing about Nafplio it would be hanging out at the beach, coming to Greece was the first time I actually swam in the sea which my friend took full advantage of by constantly splashing me with water the first time. Thanks again. Sitting by the beach hearing the waves crash, kids laugh,the warm hum of birds and Greek spoken was my favourite soundtrack of 2015.

Tolo Beach

Kastraki Beach

Island Hopping

So one of the highlights was renting a small boat for a few hours and going island hopping. I have never done this before and honestly it was one of the best thing I've ever experienced. As you can see the sea and the sky was so blue that it all looked like a blue beautiful watercolour painting. Each new island we went to we would jump out and swim and explore what was there. I felt like Miguel and Tulio from The Road To Eldorado. The second photo is the first island we visited called Koronisi It has a church there so some people get married there! Future husband I hope you can swim because that's where we are going! The third photo is Romvi/the island of Aphrodite which is next to Koronisi. The nature and the trees on this island is breathtaking, it makes sense why the island is named after the most powerful goddess.

I went Island hopping with the Siakavaras men (the family I was staying with) and I want to say again thank you so much for being warm, kind, helping me see more of your beautiful country and giving me one of the best trips of my life.

Koronisi and Romvi/the island of Aphrodite

Moon Watching

The sky definitely looks better in Greece. I spent half the time while I was there looking up there. Red Rock Bar was my favourite and really the only bar I went to while I was there. It's actually on a Red Rock, and wherever you sit you get great views of the sea and cliffs because of the many levels in the bar which you can see from my photos. The whole atmosphere the first night I was in Tolo was electric at the bar, you're so close to the sea so you can hear the waves crashing on the beach. Plus all the voices around you in the bar. There was music playing in the bar but not enough to drown out our conversation. I unfortunately have no pictures of this place at night but trust me it is beautiful and even more stunning sipping your drink when the moon comes out in a dark clear sky.

Red Rock Bar

Fortress Guarding

Island hopping and visiting this Castle is joint for the top things I did while I was in Greece. For you History buffs Palamidi Castle in Nafplio (closest city to Tolo) and was built by Venetians between 1711 and 1714. It got stormed into one night by Greek troops in 1822, causing the Turkish garrison within to surrender without a fight. Entry fee is 8 Euros but 4 if you are a student which I was then!

There are two ways to get to the Fortress you can either take the steps that begin southeast of the bus station in Nafplio Town. It's 576 steps to the outer gate and 901 steps to the entrance to the castle (according to Lonely Planet) or drive up there and park for free. You can guess what we did.......We took the car. We wanted to catch the sunset so we did this for time reasons.

Once you are in the castle there is a lot of walking to do so you can't escape walking either way and that's one of the best things about it. Trust me when I say I came back with toned legs after all the walking we did up and down the castle. Exploring inside there are 8 separate bastions, the ones at the top you can see breathtaking views of the whole of Nafplio which you can see below in my photos. Seeing some of these views left me speechless, if you do one thing in Nafplio definitely make the journey to see them. I remember me and my friend sitting for hours talking about how it was a completely different time then. With views like this, what a way to live and spend each day. The island gives them them everything they need.

I'm going to give out a shout out to Thanos for walking up this castle with me. Thanks for being such a great travelling partner and great guy to be around :)

Palamidi Castle

The last and number one highlight of this trip was staying with a Greek Family. So this last note is a big THANK YOU/efharistó to the Siakavaras family for taking me in and being like a second family to me while I was there. Nothing beats eating with you guys and hearing all you stories, even though I could hardly speak any Greek your love and warmth still resonated with me. Family is the heart of their culture and sitting down to hear their love for each other was beautiful to see. Even though we spoke different languages I felt like I encountered more warmth and intimacy than people who speak the same language as me. Things haven't been the best in the world the last year so spending time with their family reminded me how important it is to care for each other and to look out for our neighbours and strangers. It's probably why Greece is so beautiful, the people make a country what it is! I also visited Athens while I was there so expect more posts about this beautiful country!

~ Lou

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