Recently, Holland America’s Prinsendam, on one of her world-circling voyages, docked in Katakolon, Greece, on a bright, sunlit Tuesday morning in September. The air was sharp, crisp, not overly warm, the deep-blue water was almost motionless.
Where is Katakolon? It’s a quiet seaside Greek town, rather island-like, by the side of the Ionian Sea on the Peloponnese peninsula. Sicily is to her west, Italy’s mainland is to her west, northwest.
The little town first became a port in 1857 to handle the export of Corinth’s small raisins, actually currants. These days the port is mainly used for cruise passengers to disembark and travel a short way to see the ruins at Olympia, scene of the original Olympic Games. In addition to the temple of Zeus, the site contains the remains of the 30,000-seat Olympic stadium and a museum. The games started here in 776 BCE, repeating every four years.
On this bright day, a few of us took off on another destination: the town of Katakolon. We’d savor Greece’s shoreline and drink in the mysteries of her azure waters, sans history, hiking, lectures, bus rides, tour guides, waiting in line, history lessons and myths to concentrate upon.
Slightly before noon, we ambled along Katakolon’s main street, one with shops and art galleries.
Sometimes a perfect tourist day is seeing historical sights and the origins of serious history. Also, sometimes a perfect tourist day is a deep blue gazing pool, still waters, a plate of fresh-caught squid with a bottle of iced cold Mythos Hellenic Larger.
For certain, we will never forget this lazy day in a small, picturesque Greek seaside town … we found a seaside memory destined to remain with us all our days.