Travel: Monemvasia

Tuesday, 3 May 2011
I've been looking forward to Monemvasia since my first visit so many years ago. I had fond memories of the place but it was definitely the perfect place for honeymooners or couples as opposed to a solo traveller. The journey from Nafplio took longer than expected with confusing instructions on the GPS. Navigating through little towns in a minivan can be a frustrating experience with narrow lanes which are in fact two way streets.

Neither Lil Bro nor I enjoyed driving in Peloponnese. On a lucky day, we would manage to find someone who wouldn't mind pointing us to the right direction but most of the time, we get what we call now "the shrug" which I translate to 1) I don't know  2) I don't give a damn  3) I can't be ar**sed to talk. After a few missed turns, we managed to get to Gefyra, a seaside town which also acts as the gateway into Monemvasia.

We were silly enough to park right after crossing the bridge. Take note to those who want to visit Monemvasia, there's only a single entrance, a gate/tunnel which leads into the magical town. If you're driving, I suggest you drive straight up to the entrance, dump your luggage and find a place to park. Be sure you park within the confines of the line on the side of the street or else you'll definitely get a parking ticket. We were silly enough to park farther back and then lugged our luggage all the way which was a good 20 minute walk with the two kids who were metamorphosing rapidly into varmints, alternating between snarling and whinging. It's incredible how these two scrawny kids manage to pack it all in considering that we have to feed them on an hourly basis AS WELL AS a proper lunch and dinner.

monemvasia - rock

monemvasia - gate

A few Athenians and some of the locals were rather surprised we knew of Monemvasia. It's more of a local getaway and the place doesn't see many foreigners. It's a stunning place which has been lovingly restored. After reading the reviews on Tripadvisor, I'd chosen Goulas guesthouse, a beautifully renovated stone house. The view from my balcony was incredible. What they aren't keen on are children as they prefer everyone to tiptoe around and be as quiet as a fish. The narrow reception also acts as the breakfast area where guests are squashed into little uncomfortable corners that are not conducive to conversations.



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The locals within the confines of the little town lacked the warmth of many other places I've visited, namely, Hydra. In fact, it was an uncomfortable experience trying to buy a few knick-knacks at the tuck shop. The shop-owner could barely bring herself to serve us and when I thanked her, I received a venomous glare instead. The reception was rather cold at Gefyra as well. God forbid you should spend any money at the shops. Now that I've been back twice, I doubt I'd make another trip again.


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monemvasia cats

5 comments:

  1. AlmostShrunkenWalrus3 May 2011 at 20:27

    What a beautiful place! The locals are probably just a bit annoyed you found their 'secret paradise'. I enjoy looking at your photos and reading your blog - feels almost as if I'm right there! :)

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  2. AlmostShrunkenWalrus who's already skinny as a rake - so sweet of you to say so. It was beautiful but not very welcoming.

    lauraloo, thank you!

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  3. Awwwwww I just love it when you include kitties in your photos.... my my how you have changed :P

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  4. hahahaha, Penny. I can't say I like these flea bitten cats but you'll be happy to know that there are waaaay too many of those creatures in Greece.

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