10 moments I loved on my trip to Kalamata

As I write this post I'm sat in one of those uncomfortable metal airport chairs, with a flight delay between me and a cup of proper English tea. I can see Greece in all of its 30° glory through the window and, even though I'm technically still here, I'm already missing it. And this sub-arctic aircon isn't making it any easier.

So, since it doesn't look like I'm going anywhere any time soon, I thought I would take this unfortunate opportunity to finally tell you all about what I've been up to on my month-long trip to Greece. Every cloud, eh?

When I first got here 5 weeks ago I had grand plans of posting every other day. Then the beach happened, holiday brain kicked in and I actually let myself relax. In fact, I barely picked up my laptop throughout the entirety of the holiday. Hence, it's been pretty quiet around this parts and I now have the mammoth task of documenting my whole incredible trip into one blog post. But hey, your girl needs something positive to look back on when uni stress is determined to kill her in a few months. Plus, I hope that this post acts as a lil life update to make up for my absence and a helpful guide for anyone travelling to Kalamata too.

1. Surprising the family 

As some of you might know, my boyfriend grew up in Kalamata and we're lucky enough to be able to stay with his parents whenever we need to. Yay for not having to pay for expensive hotels and double yay for the cosiness of a family home whilst away! However, this year we decided to surprise his family who have been asking us to come and visit pretty much since the second we left last year.

Until we pulled up on the driveway they had no idea we weren't in England working. I thought I was going to shit myself with excitement when I saw them! As you can imagine, it was all pretty emotional. Cue lots of cheek kisses and a fair few reunions tears before we even made it through the door.

2. Kyparissia Beach Days 

Unlike last year's trip which was full of firsts (my first time meeting Kyriakos' family, my first time in Greece and, most importantly, my first time trying Ouzo), this year kind of felt like returning to a second home. I wasn't anxious about the unknown, but just excited to dive headfirst into a vat of olive oil. So, for the most part, I was happy to re-visit some of my favourite places.

The Kalamata/Messini area is full of beautiful beaches, but my favourite by far is Kyparissia. Mainly that's because there's a small cove a little walk away from the main strip that looks like it was lifted straight out of a travel booklet. It's all rocks, crystal clear waters and a distinct lack of tourists. Another great thing about Kyparissia is that there are plenty of beach bars and restaurants that allow you to order food straight to your sun lounger. Huge Greek salads, club sandwiches and iced coffees were on the menu for us pretty much every time we visited.

3. Playing tour guide 

Week two of our trip brought my family with it and, a few days later, one of my best friends, Terri. After welcoming them to the airport with a massive hand written sign we began introducing them to our favourite parts of Greek life. We took them to the absolute best Gyros restaurant (Yefsis in central Kalamata) and helped them to navigate Greek coffee menus. We translated half of Lidl and, of course, took them to Kyparissia beach even though we managed to pick the windiest day of our whole trip to do so!

4. Introducing the families 

Obviously the best moment of the whole holiday was finally introducing my family to Kyriakos' family after three years of being together. I can't even begin to put into words how happy I was to have these two worlds colliding.

5. Market Day 

It took me approximately 15 minutes to get fully back into the swing of village life and remember my very limited amount of vocabulary.

The whole thing was just the perfect antidote to London living. No more was this the case than on Sundays: Kalamata Market day. I mean, let's just say that it certainly wasn't a trip to ASDA to buy pre-packaged pita breads. Everything was fresh and ridiculously cheap and it felt like everyone from all of the neighbouring villages were together in one place. Add in the fact that it's a tradition for us to get gyros for lunch whilst we're there and it's not hard to see why it was my favourite day of the week.

6. I Mera tis Panagias, Mary's Day.

In Greece the 15th of August is accepted as the day that the Virgin Mary died and was assumed into heaven. It's a huge national holiday that brings together everybody in the community to dance, sing along to traditional music and eat loukoumades (a type of fried dough drizzled in honey or melted chocolate). If you ever have the chance to visit Greece at this time of year and partake in the celebrations then you have to. It's these kind of events that give you a proper look into the culture of such an incredible country.

7. Jumbo 

Jumbo is a department store in Greece. But honestly, "department store" doesn't do it justice. It is a haven of utter crap and treasures. It is filled to the brim with a mix of items that are absolutely genius and items that are as useless as they are ridiculous. In just one trip I found giant cushions in the shape of kiwi slices, a bracelet filled with citronella oil that actually did stop me getting bitten by bugs and a soap dispenser that could definitely have been mistaken for a protein shaker.

Jumbo truly is a sight to behold. In fact, I'd say visit that before you do the Acropolis.

8. Kalamata Castle 

I mean, let's be honest, Greek history absolutely dwarfs English History, so visiting this relic from the 13th century is only really scratching the surface! However, it is absolutely breathtaking.

Due to an earthquake in 1986 you can't go inside, but you don't need to. Its views are absolutely gorgeous, especially if you can get there to watch the sunset. There is also a cafe nearby that makes an incredible iced white chocolate drink. I would highly recommend.

9. Our Anniversary 

Whilst on our trip Kyriakos and I celebrated our three year anniversary. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better place to do so.

We spent the day lounging on the beach reading and swimming and saying "THREE YEARS!" way too many times. Then, in the evening we headed out to the best restaurant we've found in the area. It's called Amos and not only is their food incredible but the restaurant overlooks the beach. We both ordered the mushroom and truffle risotto because we knew it was an orgasm in a bowl and we were not disappointed.

10. Clubbing, Greek Style 

On my holiday bucket list I said that I wanted to experience Greek clubs and compare them to that in England. Mainly I think that they just have a bit more a chilled vibe. Everything stays open until around 5am, so nobody is rushing to drink as much as they can as quickly as they can. In that sense they feel more like the equivalent to an English pub, but with a bit more dancing.

Also, word of warning, the drinks are strong. 

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