The Chestnut Festival

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One weekend, we trekked to a mountain village called Agiassos. There were rumors of a big chestnut festival and we wanted to be part of it. As we drove closer, all of the cars started to back up and either turn around or park on the side of the road and walk. I thought maybe there was an accident, but Vasilis assured me that Greek people were all just in panic. Apparently, anytime you get a crowd of Greeks, there is always mass confusion and chaos. We drove a little closer until we realized this was the case and turned around. As we were heading back, we noticed another road that would lead us to the same village. We literally bi-passed everyone and found a nice parking place. Here is what we first saw as we entered the “festival”…

All you can see here is people drinking a coffee and kind of a big crowd behind them, but in reality, there were TONS of people and idiots trying to drive through these waves of people. Now, the drivers think they have some “right” to be there but the people don’t budge out of the way at all, so that forces the driver to honk his horn loudly for long periods of time, resulting in many people shouting back to him (very unpleasant words from the Greek I could understand.)

Once we made our way to the market street, there were chestnut vendors everywhere. Lots of people were roasting them on an open fire, but there was no Jack Frost nipping at our noses.

Aren’t they hilarious. Notice his zipper and teeth, apart from that, he was very friendly and welcoming. I promise the further up the mountain you go, the more “village” and awkward people get, this was just the beginning 🙂

They were also selling walnuts, figs, and fresh mushrooms. All in all, it was not worth going out of our way. We stayed for like 20 minutes walking around and taking pictures, but unless you were with all your Greek friends and liked to drink coffee in overcrowded places then it wasn’t too much of a festival.

The other festivals they have in this village are cherry and orchid festivals. I will most definitely be going back for the cherry one, I can put up with lots of loud people for as many fresh cherries that I will find!

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