An evening in Panagia
Yesterday my companion and I were circling hotels on Golden Beach. It was very cold. Totally unexpected. The hotels were empty, our voices were echoing through hallways, there weren’t chairs or tables to sit down, and I was writing this standing, with my barely moveable fingers. For the end we left hotel Yoannis located on Golden Beach. The mother of the owner of the hotel answered the phone and told me that she lives in Panagia and that we should go by car to pick her up and drive her to Golden Beach in order to open the hotel and show us the rooms. We waited for her in the center of the village.
Everyone who saw Panagia knows that this is truly the most picturesque place on Thassos. Stone rooftops, narrow streets, small windows, lots of shops, view of Skala Potamia and Golden Beach … my favorite place. I was glad that we went to Panagia, and even more glad when I saw that the woman who was waiting for us was very nice and positive person. We drove to the hotel, saw the rooms, listened to the story of how the woman arranged the construction of the hotel herself since her husband died as soon as the foundations were laid. The hotel is really large, it was built in 1988 and last year more rooms were renovated.
We returned to Panagia and accepted the invitation to get inside for a cup of tea and to warm ourselves up. The woman was so cute that I wanted to hug her all the time while she was chirping, but I did not want to scare her :-) Her house is in the center of the village. It is a large house with several floors and 15 rooms that she has been renting in the past. It was the first boarding house in the village. At the time it worked, the guests were mainly from Yugoslavia. She says they were paying in dollars and that everyone in the village after the summer recounted events with rich Serbs.
As soon as I stepped into the house I had the impression that I went 100 years in the past. I was delighted how a woman in those years can keep everything so neat. We were sitting by the fireplace, sipping tea and talking about life, love, faith, family, as if we knew each others for many years and as if there was no 50 years age difference. At some point, a small, skinny and very vital old woman came out of a room and sat beside us. The old woman is the mother of our “grandmother”. The old woman, mantled with pelerine, participated in conversation very lively. Both were thrilled that I wanted to take photographs that they walked me through the house. The house has an area of 150 square meters and is located in one of those narrow streets behind the large sycamore. This was the first time I saw the interior of a house in Panagia and now that I see that the village has not only preserved its traditional appearance just from outside but from inside as well, I love it even more. Of course, they did not accept that we leave before dinner so we tried some specialties. Here are some nice photos, which may help you get the full impression of the village when you go to visit it.