Kosmás, Peloponnese, Greece – 2/2014
Driving north towards Mycene and Corinth, we could have followed the freeway, but we had read in one of our guidebooks about the little alpine village of Kosmás on the coastal route. It was a pretty easy choice.
Heading into the Párnonas Mountains, the tortuous two-lane road was very steep. Second and third gear travel really suck up the fuel. Crossing a pass at 1150 m, (3772 ft), we encountered dense fog. Fortunately the traffic was light. As we came to a 90° corner, we almost passed the tiny village of Kosmás in the soupy mist.
Parking next to the church, the place had a mystical feeling. A huge Plantain tree, over 100 years old according to the plaque, dominated the small plaza. Taverns were all empty, but in summer, this could be a very enjoyable place to cool off and hang out for a few mezas, (hors d’ourvres), and a cold ouzo.
Monika started a quick cup of coffee while Gary investigated the little village in hopes of finding some cookies. Sure enough, he found this cute old lady and her husband in a tiny cluttered general store. A potbelly stove gave warmth to the gloomy day. They did have cookies, and he headed back to get Monika so she would not miss a local experience.
Returning to the store, the old lady welcomed us with a friendly smile and herded us next door where she had homemade jams & cookies, canned olives and honey for sale. She was a charmer and a determined saleswoman. She knew one English word: “honey”. She explained how she gathered the olives, sliced & pickled them and tempted us with samples of her homemade cookies. We left with an armload of goodies. The olives were plump and juicy.
With full cups of hot coffee, we headed back into the fog. Our GPS gave us a forewarning of what the road looked like. Views over the edge to the turquoise river were beautiful. High on a cliff above, an old monastery clung to the rocks. Why do they build these places of worship in such absurd locations?