Thursday 3 August 2017

On the way to the market

We're on our way to the market. This is our gate and on the left our neighbour's garden. We have known her since I was one year old which is when my family moved here. The whole area was mostly fields then, I clearly remember the sheep grazing two doors up from us.  Over the years it's changed a lot. When I was a child and growing up more and more families moved here, having  their own houses built, just as we did: people would have one room with kitchen and bathroom built, then keep on adding rooms as and when they could afford to.

Over the past 20 years or so however, most of those houses have been demolished and were replaced by apartment buildings. Unfortunately, and for reasons I won't go into here, we did the same 10 years ago, our family home gone and an apartment block built instead. We are on the third floor. My sister and niece also have apartments here, as do two other families. It's worked out well.

Across the road is this house that pre-dates our original home.

We start walking north away from the sea, towards the market and pass another house that dates back to the old days. It's been renovated recently, they've done a good job, but I think the grey is too dark.

Another of the original houses, very few left these days.

I must have been about eight years old when the American military base, two-pilot plane crashed in the garden of this villa. I remember it very clearly: we were having lunch and then there was this mighty bang and we thought our windows would break. We run out as did most of our neighbours and we could see the flames and smoke on top of the hill. Both pilots were killed. No damage to the house except for a few broken windows - the garden was wrecked, of course.

Across the road, is another 'posh' house, with a viewing post on the left. What it's for I do not know.

Looking back at our street

We continue on our way. Ken is pulling our market trolley: we don't have a car in Greece and we buy the week's supply of fruit and veg from the market, so the trolley is essential. Most people who walk to the market do the same.

A bit of colour is always a pleasure in the summer

Another look back

We now reach the little church at the top of our street

with a children's play area attached to it.

Another view of the church

We turn left and then right and this long road will take us to the market. The streets in our area are lined with pines,  Seville orange

or olive trees

with the odd topiary here and there

which sometimes is an olive tree.

One of the local schools - there are three or four on this road

Non-political graffiti - a rare occurrence in Greece. This one says: it's a cuddle I want. Ahhh!

More colour

and more.

One of the new apartment buildings.

We can now see the orange and white umbrellas of the market.


  1. Eirene, I enjoyed this post from a personal perspective. It reminded me of so many details. In Athens, one uncle, like your parents, had built a house with a beautiful garden in the middle of fields where sheep grazed, watched by a young lad. It was Nea Smyrni. I remember walking to central Athens from there as a girl of ten or so. Then in 1985 I stayed there again for my brother's wedding and gone were the sheep, their land, and the whole space around the house. It is still the same three storeys, but is dwarfed by mega high rises. Gone too is the garden with its lemon trees, I regret.
    In Thessaloniki many of my relatives fleeing Trepizond were housed in little dirt bungalows. When a great aunt died she left the bungalow to one niece, and the air above it to two other nieces. At first the latter thought it was a cruel joke, but after building a nine storey block of flats, they had a good laugh at her foresight.

    1. We lost our lemon trees too, when the old house went. It's a great regret. I can't imagine fields in Nea Smyrni but then, I can't imagine fields in our area either, not anymore. That's quite a walk from Nea Smyrni to the center.

      It's funny the air, is it not? One of our neighbours left their two-storey house to their two daughters and the air to their son - it sounded so funny to me, until I it was pointed out to me what it meant.

      Glad my post brought up memories.