I was recommended to visit Kolimbari by friends who had spent their honeymoon there. It’s a lovely, unspoilt fishing village, I was told, and there’s a great beach.
I found, on investigation, that the building was the brand-new fishing boat and maritime museum. It wasn’t open at that time, but I called in on the way back, and found it very well laid out and informative.
I wasn’t prepared for what I saw when I got down to the beach. Devastation! A broken sea-wall, dilapidated buildings … Was this due to neglect? No … about nine o’clock, the place became a hive of industry, hammering, sawing, painting and repairing. In the baker’s shop, where I called in for a coffee, they told me that some slight damage, and considerable weakening had been caused by a storm in 2004; the worst of the damage in a storm in 2006.
I wondered if this was the same storm we sailed through on the Costa Atlantica that year?
Slightly to the north of the town was a fishing harbour, where I talked for a short while to a fisherman landing his catch. This seemed in pretty good condition. Did it escape damage, or did they give it priority for repair? Unfortunately, neither my Greek nor his English were capable of expressing such a concept.
Outside the town is the Ayia Gonia monastery, standing on a hillside, looking out to sea. I couldn’t go in, because I was wearing shorts, but got some good shots from the field below. I did note some damage to the seaward wall. But, it wasn’t the storms that brought that about … I found out later that it was caused years ago, by the cannon of Turkish invaders!
23rd May 2008
Since I’ve been getting a large number of hits on this entry recently, I was rather concerned that people reading it might think the conditions I encountered on my visit last year still prevailed. So, I checked around, and am happy to report that the Greek National Tourist Office say they do not.
In fact, one of their staff is a native of the area, and visited Kolimbari only last month, and reported that everything was fine.
He also said that ‘storm’ was not really the right word to use; damage would have been caused by unusually heavy seas, and the proximity of the town’s buildings to the seashore.
If anyone has been there recently, and has any further input, please feel free to enter something in the comments.