It’s about the seaside breeze

Sleep is something this program has little of. A swift breakfast then on to the province of Messinia.

First, we stopped at the beautiful beach near Romanos, named Kookoonari. The beautiful turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea made everyone calmer, while the delicate lunch that was prepared for us was enough more than enough to hold us for the day.

Later in the afternoon, we visited the scenic town of Pylos, a town rich in history. An important port, even from Venetian times, it played a crucial role in the history of the area. The most crucial being the naval battle of Navarino, a battle that turned the tide of the Greek Revolution in the 19th century.

This town held significance for two of our participants, Eleni Piliotis and Quinn Marquardt, due to their connection to the town:

For Eleni, “I was excited to learn that we would make a surprise visit to my father’s hometown, Pylos. I had visited the town before when I was younger, so it was really nostalgic and brought back a lot of happy memories”

Quinn was also ecstatic: “When I found out that we were visiting Pylos, I was filled with so much emotion. Pylos was my Pappou’s hometown. He has now passed, but when visiting, I felt a new sense of connection to my Greek heritage that I did not have before”.

To end it all off, we visited the prestigious Costa Navarino, an exclusive resort, a true privilege and an amazing sight to behold. We dined at “The Dinner: American Dining”, which was so authentic it even had a bowling alley and pool tables! We enjoyed burgers under the falling Messinian sun with a gentle summer breeze cooling us off!

It was here that Art Dimopoulos, Executive Director of the National Hellenic Society, was going from table to table talking to the participants. As they were telling him about the happiness and pride they feel for being in Greece and what they were experiencing, he responded to them very simply with “It’s all in here [points to heart]; all we do is unlock it”.

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Would you look at that! An authentic diner in Greece!

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The team assembled at the beautiful town of Pylos!

Blog editor and photographer: James (Dimitris) Voutsas

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