Summer in Greece has just ended, at least as far as the calendar is concerned, but not yet when it comes to temperatures. This is why it is so sweet and romantic to visit the region of Arcadia in the Peloponnese during Autumn. Two are the most characteristic villages that Greeks adore and lately even foreigners have discovered: Dimitsana and Vytina. Just 200 km from Athens, they both offer an oasis of peace and tranquility where time seems to have stopped in the 50s-60s, just like our cars!
To savor this feeling, our 14 crews had as their first stop the traditional Tavern “To Lathos” in Dimitsana where the grandmother’s recipes are still cooked with natural products such as in the old good times.
A few meters away from the center of the village, we let our Jaguars rest in front of the only hotel with a safe large parking: the “Nerida Boutique Hotel” and it was time for us to enjoy a coffee looking at the amazing view.
In the afternoon we walked to the center of Dimitsana characterized as a “traditional settlement” protected by the Ministry of Culture.
Our stroll up and down the alleys of the village aroused our appetite and we all found ourselves together at the well-known Taverna “Sto Kioupi”. At the end of the meal we threw a surprise birthday party for our member Sofi.The local pastry shop “Gliko Barouti” (“Sweet Dynamite”) behind the red E type, kindly offered us a beautiful cake to express their appreciation in visiting Dimitsana with our gorgeous cars. The cake had an impressing image of a red XK120
The second day of our tour was ideal to visit the Open Air Museum of Hydrokinesis of the Cultural Foundation of the Piraeus Group.
This unusual Open-Air Water Power Museum has restored traditional installations and water-powered mechanisms with wooden gears that reminded us of the archaic stage of the first car’s engines.
All the workshops are surrounded by dense vegetation and plenty of running water, and all their equipment has been restored to their original function, exactly what we do with our cars. One of the stone buildings housed the tannery showing the various stages of processing and dyeing of the leather.
This was probably the most interesting place for any car collector as leather is so important in renovating and restoring a classic car! Now that everyone is looking for more natural and less polluting ways to dye leathers, we are finally returning to the roots of the ancient techniques.
Two other buildings have captured our attention for their historical importance: the exhibition for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman rule and the gunpowder mill that during the Struggle supplied the insurgent heroes with the necessary ammunition material.
One of the strange findings we saw was a letter written by the chief of the Greek troops Kolokotronis. Due to lack of paper, he asked to collect the students’ notebooks in Dimitsana in order to use them in the cartridge manufacture!
At the end of our impressive visit, a pleasant coffee break offered by the Museum was waiting for us in the garden.
Our journey continued to the most glamorous mountain village of Arcadia: Vytina where we were welcomed in the main square by the Vice President of the community Mr. Fotis Katsoulias. To thank him for the warm hospitality and the gifts prepared for all the crews, we presented him with a commemorative plaque of the Jaguar Club of Greece.
The people we met were very interested in our historic cars. We answered many questions to convey to the younger ones the passion for these “mobile museums” that we keep alive and functional with so much love… the same love we have for our dear Jaguar friends.
Thanks to Aza, Yvonne, Sofi, Tasso, Alexandre and Babi for their photos.