A pie at the sea bottom…

The rain stopped just before noon. And without missing the opportunity I came out for a small walk … in the “Sea Bottom”. It sounds surreal,…I know… since I am somewhere in the mountains…Does it remind you reading pages from Jules Verne’s book “20,000 Leagues under the Sea”? Yes,… but do not hurry. The Sea Bottom is a beautiful village called Vithos (vithos in greek means sea bottom),located very near to the large village of Pentalofos, on Pindos mountains, in northwestern Macedonia.

Ιn older times the name of the village was Dolos. The present name of the village – Vithos,( sea bottom) – fits perfectly because all the houses are built in a deep ravine full of oak trees. The whole area strongly resembles the… bottom …of the sea…

Χωριό Βυθός, Πεντάλοφος, Πίνδος

And how do the residents of Vithos call themselves… Vythiotes?

“Well … no…not really… we are… Ntoulianates” shouts at me Mrs Marigo while spreading out her laundry at the fresh sunshine. Ntoulianates eh…. of course. This is how they keep the memory of the old name of the village. The old houses are very beautiful and well made, built with hand-hewn stone. The villagers once were some the greatest and most experienced builders of stone. Nowadays very few such capable stone builders live here. Most have gone to neighboring Pentalofos or fled in large cities.

Many of the old, elegant homes remain empty. Nevertheless, they always stay beautiful. And eventually they are sold very cheap to those who come here to live on the proud mountains of northern Pindos. These majestic mountains, near the Greek- Albanian borders.

Χωριό Βυθός, Πεντάλοφος, Πίνδος


Χωριό Βυθός, Πεντάλοφος, Πίνδος 

Night falls … Brrr … Its freezing cold… The wind from the mountains brings a thick liquid scent… fall in Pindos. … The fireplaces and wood stoves filled the air of the village with an acrid odor of burnt wood.

Mrs Victoria Troumpalou is preparing to make pie in her small simple neat kitchen. It’s the northern Greek traditional pumpkin pie. She opens the thin “filo” (i.e. leaf of dough) made with flour water and olive oil. She works with quick movements with the thin rod which is used to spread the filo. The filling is grated fresh red pumpkin, white local cheese, pepper, olive oil and secret spices. In the end the pan goes into the oven (of the stove) and is baked for about one hour. Until the pumpkin pie is done Mrs Victoria bakes small pies from dough – they call them “langites” – on the cast iron plate in the fireplace and serve them with honey. Mmm … A sweet scent of burnt wood and dough floods my palate …

Παραδοσιακή κουζίνα, Χωριό Βυθός, Πεντάλοφος, Πίνδος 

The pie rises while baking, outside there is a drizzle and Mrs. Victoria starts telling me stories of the old stone builders and their travels, stories of the woodcutters in the forest, stories of winter…

A knock on the door interrupts her narration and my thoughts: some friends came with a bag of chestnuts: Christina a keen climber, George the son of Mrs. Victoria, my friend photographer Chris. We put more logs in the fire. We also bring out the glasses with raki …

Aaah… something smells very nice. Mrs. Victoria turns over the golden pie smiling with pride.

It is finally baked. Αnd it smells so good…


Πίτα παραδοσιακή, Χωριό Βυθός, Πεντάλοφος, Πίνδος 



Where am I?

Vithos village is beside Pentalofos village, through which passes the old main road of KastoriaIoannina.




Χωριό Βυθός, Πεντάλοφος, Πίνδος



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