Inside our restaurant at Damouchari port where a part of the “Mama Mia” movie was filmed, there are naturally a few mementos of their fifteen minutes of celluloid fame. This post is a photographic look at that moment that this bay was probably the busiest it’s ever been…
August 25, 2014
August 24, 2014
Following yesterday’s post about us ordering lunch at a restaurant on the bay of Damouchari port, I feel I need to be a little more specific about how the ordering system works when you arrive as the tourist season is ending and are the only customers for lunch.
Yes, the menu was presented to us, but not in printed format as is normally the case, but ‘in person” (as it were) because we were invited right into the kitchen to take a look at what was in the pots on the stove.
It was with big smiles that the menu was explained, we see the chef throwing in bay leaves by the handful, there is slow cooked beef, chicken being prepared and all with plenty of enthusiasm.
It’s very rare that customers can choose their restaurant meal directly from the stovetop…
Of course during high season and during busy times this wouldn’t be possible, but for me it’s a chance to sneak a peek at a professional kitchen and take a look “behind the scenes”. Outside there are baskets if vegetables, and of course, in due course our meals were served to us at our able outside.
August 23, 2014
We have found Damouchari port on the east coast of the Pelion peninsular, where some of the scenes for the Hollywood movie “Mama Mia “were filmed and on one side of the bay there are a few restaurants, the first of which appears to be open.
A perfect spot of lunch, so we make ourselves comfortable at a table that overlooks the bay and check out the menu. It’s a short menu with a choice of only three or four items because we visited here in October of 2102 and the main tourist season was well and truly over.
While we wait and the children check out the surroundings, I take photographs of the outside our beautiful eatery in the fantastically warm October sunshine. Little Mr. and Kiwi Daughter are quick to point out two beautifully made wooden children’s rocking toys, one is in the shape of a little “Mama Mia” boat and the other is in the shape of a motorbike: both children looked disappointed that they were far to big to enjoy a ride on them.
I find some thick rope that I take photographs of for sketching purposes sometime in the future and by the time I’ve finished taking photographs of that, we find we have been befriended by the restaurants cat who no doubt has already sized us up and weighed up his chances of gaining a win in the tid-bit stakes once out meals arrive. Our “new best friend” waits patiently… he knows what’s coming soon…
August 22, 2014
We are in the tiny Greek port of Damouchari, it’s where the dancing on the jetty scene in the hit movie “Mama Mia” was filmed, but there are some interesting bits about the bay that are not in the film and that would have been brilliant if they had been added to the script.
(The “Health and Safety” Department would have been less than happy though methinks). One side of this tiny harbour is bordered by a steep rock face, on top on which there are several restaurants and buildings.
At the end of these buildings, leading out from one of the restaurants is a stone path that slopes down to the shallow end of the bay, but there appears to be another, less usual way to negotiate this slope if anyone dares.
It seems to have been “steps” built into the wall , they are flat, rock protrusions anchored into the wall at one end and joined from one rock to another with chains at the other.
They aren’t particularly wide and it’s a decent drop with rocks below at the highest end, so not for the feint hearted. Surely this isn’t the “dock” for boats at high water?
…. And anyway the location of the building on the other side would suggest that the water doesn’t get this high anyway, especially this far into the Mediterranean where tidal fluctuations seems to be really minimal, if any.
We visited Damouchari Port back in October 2012, well outside the tourist season, but who knows?Had we been there in high season we may well have seen someone
foolish brave enough to have taken this short-cut to the top !
At the lower end of the wall is a solid outcrop that is clearly more stable, but with no handrail it’s still something I wouldn’t dare negotiate even in my fittest days before the accident. Other little Greek harbours have solid stone or concrete jetty’s our into the water and steps down so that boats can dock no matter how high the water level is, so I wonder why this one doesn’t? In the end of course it may be that the producers of the Mama Mia movie chose this location for precisely that reason, that there isn’t a concrete dock… Who knows ? What a shame they didn’t have the the movie stars clambering on it in the film, … the insurance people probably didn’t let them.
August 21, 2014
Hurrah ! After longer walk than I bargained for, a lot of rest stops, a wrong turn leading to the beach next door that had an almost identical name, and a backtrack to the correct path, we have finally “reached our destination” and arrived at Damouchari port where some of the scenes for the movie “Mama Mia” were filmed.
In the film you get to see the star studded cast and a village load of extras dancing on a large jetty in the bay…
…we learn later that one of the requirements of getting permission to film was that the jetty and all traces of the movie set be removed and cleaned up afterwards, so sadly any hopes my daughter had of dancing on the same “stage” as Meryl Streep were quickly dashed.
Since we visited here in October of 2012 I can however tell you that ever since this trip, whenever the scenes come on in the movie the predictable words come out of her mouth “We’ve been to that beach you know…” even if I’m the only one in the room and I do know because I was there too. Every neighbourhood kid, friend and relative has heard the story too (over and over and over, if they are lucky!) so in answer to the question “Will my kids actually remember trips abroad when they are older?” In this case I can give an assured “Yes‘”, well at least for our children and for this particular place.
In case you were wondering, no our children don’t watch DVD films very much at all and we restrict TV viewing too, it’s just that when they do (usually wet days during school holidays) they have a strange penchant for viewing the same movie over and over again, boring you’d think?
Apparently in their eyes not.
At least I can say that although I cringed when I saw the movie for the first time (I hated it so much I only watched the first 15 minutes) that repetition forced submission and now I can join in a see it as the send up it was supposed to be rather than than the serious movie I first thought it was and enjoy it. (…it was supposed to be a send up wasn’t it?) When we play the movie, we can point to background features that are all exactly as they were in the movie, it’s fun to see something like this tiny Greek harbour that you seen “in person” translated to a wider global audience in a movie… Do I like this place? I do, I do, I do, I do, I do…
August 19, 2014
This blog post follows yesterday’s one where in October 2012 we were searching for a beach called Damouchari where part of the movie “Mama Mia” movie was filmed. As our family habit of getting lost was not in any danger of being broken as we find ourselves on a beach that is not the one we want, because there are two next to each next similarly named places to each other: a Damouchari beach and a Damouchari port and as is our want, we end up at the wrong one.
I’m trailing the rest of my energetic family but at least I have a better idea where I’m supposed to be, so a slow walk on crutches and frequent stops didn’t bother me at all. One of these rest stops that I make involves stopping to photograph an amazing plant alongside the path, I’m botanically challenged so have no clue what it might be called but it’s beautiful flowers are fragile, delicate and brilliantly photogenic that I feel compelled to try and do justice to their exquisite design. They were still better in real life than what I managed to capture here, but these images are here to inspire me if and when I feel the urge to try and draw something botanical…and even if I never end up making the drawings they are still inspirational…
August 18, 2014
Hmmm, Here we are looking for a Greek beach in a place called “Damouchari” where our in-laws have told us that some of the scenes for the Hollywood film “Mama Mia” were filmed.
As is usual for Family Kiwidutch, we are lost and trying to work out where our wrong turn took place.
According to the map we are supposedly in the right place but this clearly isn’t the beach we are looking for.
We are trying to read our brother-in-laws map and after some head scratching it seems that maybe there is one beach called ” Damouchari ” and another next to it called ” Damouchari Port” and in taking the right turn in the path earlier we have come to the beach Damouchari instead of the port Damouchari .
It was October 2012 when we visited so apart from one other couple we appear to be the only tourists in the whole place, and the entire place seems deserted. The beach we have stumbled on by accident is a bay with a pebble (maybe that should be a boulder) beach and in various places on it other visitors have made towers of stones, some of them quite impressively high. It’s annoying not to be able to walk on the beach to photograph them better, so I do my best with the zoom lens on the camera.
By the time I arrive Himself and the kids are already at the end of the path and then start scrambling over the rocks on the beach.
There are seats spaced all along the beach front path so I can sit for rest and watch the waves roll in and marvel at the stunning colour of the sea.
Further along the path diverts sharply to the right and goes into a deep gully, too much for me to tackle of course but if I had been fully fit then it would have been a very interesting walking track to explore.
By the time I get to the end of the path and back Himself and the kids have come back and told me that they are heading on to try out the other path, if our map reading is still wrong they will come back and tell me so that I can be saved the extra walking.
Now that I’ve been sitting so long they’ve been long gone and there’s no sign of them so I deduce that the other path must have been good after all. Now all I have to do is to find Himself and the kids, so this means making my way back to the spot where the path divides…