Ovid sang about it, Goethe praised it, and according to the travel guide, even Ernst Bloch was already here: Arcadia, place of longing and fascinating ideal "golden" landscape. And, to quote the travel guide again: "Home of the shepherd god Pan: rugged mountains, gnarled pastures and empty villages, sad myths and places of warlike encounters".
We approached Arcadia from the sea. Beautifully rolling hills that change colour depending on the position of the sun and the time of day, from green to brown. In the background, steep rock falls, red karst near Leonidi. The land is barren - except for the alluvial fans of the rivers, which have created fertile plains, olives, vegetables, wine, citrus fruits are cultivated, here are also the cities. Small fishing villages like Kyparissou, Paralio Astros, very idyllic, tiny harbours and beautiful anchor bays. This is one of the reasons why the Roman consul, orator and politician Herodes Atticus built his huge vila here 1900 years ago - with a view of the sea, but seven kilometres away. Next to this villa is the small Monatserste of Loukos with its uniquely beautiful garden. Here a nun explains the difference between Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox Church (none except for a few other holidays), then she invites you to a glass of water with homemade marshmellow-like sweets.
Besides Roman remains and Byzantine monasteries and churches, there are also Frankish fortresses in Arcadia - Franconia is the collective term for crusaders here.
A beautiful, harsh region, you can understand the praise of this country.