Even St. Nicholas makes it to Vassaras!  Stopping at the Cafe Rythmos to deliver gifts and spread cheer. Tonight, Vassareans gather in the town square to reunite after months of work and school has taken friends and family in different directions. Few stay in Vassara year round, but come the holidays, it’s time to gather again and share the magic.  Agia Triatha’s bell rings out loudly once more, announcing the birth of Christ.  Tables are spread with feta, lamb and wine and everyone is welcome.  Gifts of the season are shared as once more, the town repopulates during the  holiday.

From my village to yours, from the big cities tot he small towns, Merry Christmas to all!

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Although the streets of Sparta bustle with activity most weekday mornings, Wednesdays and Saturdays are especially energetic for this town set in the heart of Greece’s Pelponesse.  Twice a week, locals enjoy the pazari – local farmer’s market, that comes to town with a flurry of activity!

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With fruits and vegetables of all kinds, plus fresh herbs, locally made honey, nuts and other fine delicacies, this is a ‘must’ do on our list of local stops.  Pursue away at the fine produce that emanates from this lush topography. I promise, you’ll never eat a better tasting tomato, grape or watermelon.  Enjoy the variety and don’t be intimidated by the locals who talk loudly and move quickly. This is part of their weekly grocery shopping.  Pick up a small bag of your favorites, whether it’s peaches, bananas or melons. You’ll be sure to enjoy.

Speaking of enjoying, be sure to soak in the personality of the pazari – from the faces of the old women selling oregano, to the young boys behind the fruit stands, learning the business from their fathers.  This, again is ‘real Greece,’ just as enchanting as the moonlight and the seashore, discovering what makes a local area ‘tick’ is what it’s all about! Have fun!