3 Jan 2024

To the Land of Monasteries in the sky - September October 2019

We set off for Greece on the 28th August, a quick dash through Luxembourg, Germany and Austria to Budapest and then a bit more slowly through Romania and Bulgaria arriving in Greece on the 10th of September.


Quick Dip in Kavala Beach

And sit on the beach while I go for a scout round on my bike

Just in front of our camping spot

Until the Sun went down

Then on to Meteora, where the camp site had an excellent pool

Where I left Chris whilst I peddled up amongst the Monasteries.

Many of them built on the top of unscalable cliffs.

If you look carefully, in the dip, you can just see a small cable car.

But zoom right in and you can actually see someone sat in it!!!, Wouldn't fancy that on a windy day!

We also both went up in the camper, and stopped at a couple (where we could get to them without ropes)

And then on to Kato Gazea (Camping Sikia) on the Pelion Peninsular, where the Greek Gods went on holiday! A gorgeous, mountainous area, very quiet at this time of year We stayed here for 10 days, just  above the beach with an excellent restaurant overlooking the beach a bit further along.

I cycled up into the hills, and just as I had given up finding anywhere for lunch

This place appeared in front of me, and it was excellent.

We also came across an old steam train, which chugged up into the hills (more or less where I had cycled too).

We then made our way to Corinth, stopping briefly at the Corinth Canal.

It looks too narrow for ships but is wider than it looks from above. The Canal was completed in 1881, but had been considered in early Roman Times. in fact Nero removed the first basket load of soil with a pickaxe in 67AD, but died shortly afterwards and the project was abandoned (was that HS1?).

And then on to Corinth (where we stayed for a week). 

From Corinth we made our way up to Igoumenitsa, to take a ferry to Ancona (Italy) in order to bypass, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia (partly due to not having insurance and breakdown cover for Albania and Montenegro, but also the time it would have taken). 

On the way we stopped at Diakopto to take another train ride into the mountains to a place called Kalavryta, we just went for the train ride and had no idea what was at the other end.

Whilst wandering round the village we visited a small museum in the old, restored school house and what we found was appalling. In retaliation for 80 German soldiers being killed by the resistance, they rounded up all of the men and teenage boys from the village (500) and gunned them all down, then many of the women, children and elderly were locked in the school house and the school house was burned to the ground along with the rest of the village. The remaining women then collected their dead husbands, dragged them to the cemetery on bed sheets to bury them in the freezing ground, with little in the way of tools. 

Saw this poster on a wall in Igoumenitsa - look at the dog in the middle, and watch this space!

Heading home through Austria


Last photo of Chris on a bike! She gave up cycling when we got home.

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