We love the Mani

Why do we always come back – or  live here at the Southern end of Europe far from urban centers?  One trip down the Peloponnisos to the Messinian Mani and you see.

You drive from Kalamata heading South, in direction to Areopolis. Shortly before Stavropigio the road ascends, climbs across a small mountain pass and after a few bends – you see "it".  A dazzling landscape spreads out in front of you: The blue to turquoise sea, high steep mountains, small villages scattered across the hills and along the coastline. A breathtaking panoramic view. On clear days the view stretches far down to the South. Colors of nature dominate the fantastic landscape, a silvery green of the abundant olive groves merge with a dark lush green of the thick thorny brushwood and evergreen shrubs, intermingled with patches of yellowish dust tones – all blend into the gray-brown of the barren hillsides or steep rugged rocks. And above all the Mediterranean sky, its unique light reflecting the sea in shimmering ripples.

Mountain hikes through the many deep gorges and passing the olive groves will let you discover a lot of hidden treasures of past times: Old stone trails and bridges that once connected the villages, beautiful tiny chapels with colorful murals from the early period of Christianization and ancient well houses that provided the population with the Taygetos-water.

Naturally - as artists, we are fascinated by all, the landscapes and the faces.  Like the barren landscape so were the people – once. In the faces of the very aged you see the lines of hard work and frugal life –  gripping faces for inspiring portraits. And one might still well imagine that - not too long ago  - the Maniates improved their income through piracy. Of course, it's changed. But not the landscape - and strange enough today, one might think - not at all the chilled-out mentality of the people here. Many work in tourism now, since the various very different small beaches attract people from everywhere.

And meet in Stoupa & Agios Nikolaos ...

This former very small fishing village is one of the crowded places now in summer, where you have it all (almost, apart from cultural city life): three lovely beaches, many tavernas and still the village-feeling that you "know everybody" – from sight. This is our get-together-place, because it is more or less the center from any direction nearby.

We have our meetings either at PATRIKO facing Stoupa beach or like recently in winter in HADES in Agios Nikolaos.

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