Nafplio is a colourful seaside town located only a couple hours away from Athens, Greece.
Over time we have developed a method of touring that guarantees we maximize our time in these beautiful places.
It goes like this: walk towards something that grabs our attention in the distance or just pick a direction and see what the day brings.
It always brings something.
It’s a very strategic 2 fold process.
1. Look up.
2. Look around.
It sounds simplistic but it yields great success.
You see you don’t always need a tour book or a structured day filled with points of interest to explore.
Do we miss some specific tourist attractions by forging our own path- sure we do.
However we end up gaining access to some real authentic and off grid spots.
If we miss a castle or fort along the way, so be it.
Let’s do some wandering!
It all starts with lunch.
Today we break habit (souvlaki) and decide on Lebanese food.
We order some roughage. Tabouleh is a symphony of fresh chopped herbs and here at this restaurant they add pomegranate seeds.
Not only a feast for the eyes, it turns out these pomegranate seeds are quite complimentary to the bitter profile of this salad.
Note the size of this salad. Tabouleh is usually more of a small soup bowl serving. No complaints here.
The main dish arrives. Kebabs with hummus, green salad and fries.
Basically this meal is a close cousin to souvlaki and tzatziki but it does offer a flavour switch up from souvlaki nonetheless.
It’s windy here this afternoon and there are wait staff chasing napkins and menus down the street.
An umbrella at the table behind us completely topples over while a sandwich board somewhere in the distance slams down onto the sidewalk.
We tuck our napkins safely under our plates, pay our bill and head out of the main square towards that something that has captured our interest.
Along the way we notice everything.
It’s the beauty of the ‘getting there’ that we pay attention to.
Like the blue sky framing a pastel house with azure wooden shutters effortlessly creating a calming harmonious palette.
We too become the source of cautious amusement here.
Look closely below for our audience of 1:
Continuing up towards the hilltop we encounter a complete contrast to the previous picture perfect street.
How exactly does putting an ancient fortress , some bright bougainvillea,a lush lemon tree and a graffiti wall create such a harmonious collaboration? It just does.
Makes me wonder, do the people traversing this pathway notice the eclectic beauty here?
We make it to our destination.
An abandoned hotel high up in the distance. Noticeable because of its dark profile and graffiti rooftop.
A lot of people park here to hike the trails.
We’re not hikers.
There’s a sign that reads no trespassing.
Most people obey this sign.
We’re not most people.
The scene inside is one of controlled chaos.
Standing amongst the rubble we notice it appears to have been neatly organized into piles so you can easily walk through.
There’s no garbage, just the odd pop can, no cigarette butts.
It’s the neatest friendliest deconstruction zone ever.
Down below there’s an abandoned Volkswagen bus that seems tragic but kinda cool at the same time.
The rooftop is incredibly scenic with a great view of the hilltop fortress on the one side.
Overlooking the harbour on all 3 other sides.
Heading back inside we get some more graffiti’d walls and stairwells.
This green fellow below makes an appearance in several spots.
Good guy? Bad guy? Stoner? Who knows.
We head out of this hotel and back ‘home’.
The pride people have in their home spaces is evident.
The streets are pristine.
There are flowers and plants in place to capture all the sunshiney climate available.
Everything thrives here.
Next time you’re out exploring take the time to notice the in between, the journey.
Maybe just go for a random wander where you live.
Take notice of the birds you see, the plants and flowers, the house styles the cars.
This is life. Everywhere.
The abandoned buildings only showcase the echos of past lives.
Both are beautiful in their own way if you take the time to notice.
Read more about Nafplio here.