Thursday, March 5, 2015

Tarpon Springs

Post by Loretta

Do we want to go for a bike ride – for the third day in a row?  We can’t go paddling because a strap broke that holds the kayak in place on the rack on the HHR, and the new one hasn’t arrived yet.  Do we want to go for another hike?   How about going to Tarpon  Springs and the beach?  Now we’re talkin’!

The weather is supposed to be in the mid 80’s today and Tarpon Springs, which is about an hour or so South of us, is a place we haven’t visited yet.  It is a Greek community and the town is noted for the Greek divers that gather the sponges from the sea.  Sounds intriguing.

We could either park and walk or ride bikes around town, as we saw many people doing.
Adorned Bike
Adorned Bike Two

The Pinellas Trail goes right through town between lanes of traffic.  Since it appeared to be small enough to check out on foot, we decided to walk.

The Greek influence is everywhere you look.  The local meat shop,

A Real Meat Counter

the restaurants, the olive oil purveyors, the sponge offerings, even the business signs and boat names reflect the Greek heritage.

Greek, anyone?

Our main objective was lunch.  We looked at a couple of places, but Henry had one place in particular in mind – Hella’s Greek Restaurant. 

Hellas Restaurant

When we arrived, it was packed and people were waiting, so we got on the waiting list.  While waiting, I went to check out the bakery section of the restaurant.  

Bakery Items

I Can Taste it Now!

All bakery items were fresh baked on site and were all so tempting, beautiful, and smelled heavenly!

I ordered my favorite – a fish sandwich and Henry ordered a Gyro.  I’m sure I should have ordered a Greek meal because everything was authentic and how often do you get that chance?  I gotta work on that.  Henry said his Gyro was the best he had ever eaten and my fish sandwich was fresh and hot. 

After lunch we walked to Spring Bayou, 

Spring Bayou

which is a beautiful semi-circular park and is another area manatees gather during colder weather.  Since it was in the mid 80’s, we did not see any sign of manatees, and a local said the water was too warm for them now.

We continued walking along the red brick roads, browsing a few local shops and along the waterfront. 

Capt. Jack

Mattie Fay
Traps and Bouys

We strolled along a couple of residential streets.
Cute Yellow Cottage

Look at that Porch!

Times Gone By

The locals practically insisted we visit St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.  Inside, there were candles burning and one lady said she was there to light a candle and say a prayer for a new baby coming into the family.  The ceiling was highly arched and had ornate paintings, chandeliers, and stained glass windows. 

In His Presence


The pews were wooden.  You could feel the reverence here, and I think it would be nice to attend a service.

Back to Hella’s Bakery for Tiramisu and espresso.  For energy, you know.

We found our way back to the car and made a swing by the Howard Park Beach.  It was rather crowded and it appears that kite boarding is a popular sport here. 

Kite Boarding

Looks like a lot of fun, but would wake up with lots of sore muscles in the arms, back, and legs! 

Finally, we went by the B-21 Wine Store and picked up some beer at a really good price for Henry.  They had the best prices we have found so far in Florida, so he stocked up.

Now to fight the traffic back to our Home on Wheels!

Oh, and this is the full moon last night.

Full Moon on March 4, 2015

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