And Mohamed Ali……..
Today, we were going to Kavala, and were planing to visit the castle and old town there. As usual though, in the morning we were treated by Johad, and his sister who were still very fascinated by our dogs, Asena and Vodka. As we sat at the the table outside, a car sped past and a person from inside the car shouted out at us saying-“Goodbye, thankyou, bye bye”. The people who shouted, were a french man and women who were hitchhiking from France to China with nothing but a backpack and tent. We had met them the previous night while we were eating at the restaurant. The woman, who was called Pauline, was a sailing instructor for dinghy yachts, while the man was a social worker. We did offer them a ride to the border, which would have been interesting and would have meant having to re-arrange the back seat area so we could accommodate one man, one woman, a child, a rat-dog and a polar bear! Luckily they took a ride with two Bulgarians instead of squashing in with me!
As usual, the sun was out and it was a glorious day in Kavala. It was only a couple of minutes to Kavala….although Geoff was driving in a 17-foot long truck through streets that were tiny, this was trouble enough, let alone finding a parking space. Are you kidding me?!
Eventually, we found parking and mother was very happy because we were next to a Greek gift shop. Having still not made up for the handbag disaster in Tarifa, where Geoff let somebody else buy Mothers handbag, and it being the first reasonable shop we had found in miles, retail therapy didn’t just shout… It hollered! Mum rushed in, with Geoff reluctantly following-(he knew what was coming next!)- we were buying gifts for Johad and Cidre because the previous evening, the children who are refuges from Syria )had given Geoff and Mum gifts of necklaces they had and peacock feathers which they had found and me a large teddy bear. I named him………ISMAIL! It was quite humbling to receive presents from a family who clearly had so little.
So as a return gift, we bought many things, pens, notebooks, bracelets, footballs and other useful, small things. At last, shopping over, we headed up the alleyways of the old town, towards the castle. The streets we very claustrophobic, and very sheltered going up the hill. On the way, we met two lady’s. One was Greek and her name was Athena, and the other was Russian. Her name was Paulina. They were picking a kind of berry of a big bush. As we were passing them Athena pushed a couple-(of what turned out to be Mullberrys)- which she had plucked from the tree into Geoffs face, simultaneously saying ” eat it!” After some chatting and more berry eating, we headed off in search for the castle … As Paulina was Russian I charmed her with the only Russian I know ( taught to us by a very dear friend, JEANYA ) ” diavechi cagula” I said, smiling my usual irresistible smile… It means, ” hey girls, how you doing?” , the ladies swooned a little and batted their eyelashes……And then Mum charmed them with her only piece of Russian too……” Tiha Orselick!!” She said with a smile… The girls both looked confused…” Shut up! Donkey! ” it means!!!!
Once at the top the view was incredible, you could see Thassos in the distance, and the town of Kavala on each side.
At last, we had found the castle. It was a lot bigger than I had expected. Most of it had dated back from the 15-century, but the tower, dungeon and store house had been sympathetically restored. The cost on entering was 3 Euro for adults, while for children it was 2 Euro. (It is worth it) Also on entering, I immediatly wanted to go up the tower, and when up there, the view from the top was a hundred times better the previous one. This time, you could see down the Greek coast on either side, with the town looking wonderful. After exploring all of the castle and grounds we headed back down to the town, were we stumbled upon the old Ottoman house which used to belong to Mohamed Ali. No…it is not full of boxing gloves and sweaty towels, it has nothing to do with the boxer. In fact this house had previously belonged to the founder, and creator of modern Egypt. It was so Egyptian, that the government of Egypt still own it! We decided to take a look around this attraction too.
There were many different large and spacious rooms upstairs, and in the information board, it sayed it was “one of the most important Ottoman architectural pieces in northern Greece”. The house was very fascinating, but outside a large statue stood of Mohamed Ali, riding his great stallion to battle. It was very interesting learning about the history of Kavala today and I have thoroughly enjoyed it!
once back at the campsite, we sat, and guess what…..we had a drink in the warm sun, by the beach.
check out this video I made on the Replay app