Saloniki and Northern Greece

Forums Out & About in Greece Around the Country Saloniki and Northern Greece

This topic contains 43 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  kolofarthos 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #158700

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    As a change we will be heading to Saloniki in September, down part way towards Pelio and possibly across to Kavala or across on the ferry to Thassos.

    Where are the good (not busy, laid back interesting) places to stay? Looking to possibly be East of Larissa (maybe VelIka), and take trips to Mt Olympus and Meteora as visits as well as some villages and the beach. Will have a car so transport ought not be an issue. Not looking for anywhere flash (and remember I come from the same school of paupers as KP claims to be) and wish to miss any very busy touristic destinations.

    Another possibility is then, as mentioned, back through Saloniki (the city is worth a visit is it not?) and then further East.

    However all the itinerary is open to suggestions ( yes even those 😳 ) so please do chip in your two drachmas worth with ideas as it’s not an area of Greece we know at all and our guide book is well out of date!

  • #195056

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    It’s late and the bub has terrorized me all day, feel dead so this is short. If going to Thessalonika, the Halkidiki peninsulars are worth it for the clean waters and the third peninsular where ouranoupolis is, you can get a ferry across to small island called Amouliani, lovley beaches and mostly Greeks go there. Clearest waters you have ever seen with white sands. Wish I could remember the name of the place we stayed at. The drive over the mountains and the small villages between the second and third peninsulars is spectacular.

  • #195057

    Shazzie
    Participant
    Oracle

    I’ve only visited Halkidi once, and it was years ago.
    I’m sure things have changed since then, but we stayed in Kalithea on the coast and it was beautiful.

    Even by Greece’s standard, the sea was amazing – crystal clear, turquoise and brimming with fish of all sizes.

    Really wish we could afford another trip !!!!!!

  • #195058

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Thanks for that input Kiwi and Shazzie. Some food for thought.

  • #195059

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    If you don’t do Halkidiki, from Thess check out Naousa and Edessa, pretty, cool, waterfalls. Going more inland West, Ioannina has a pretty island to visit in the middle of the lake, amazing fish, a lot of history dating back from the Turks Ali Pasha. Nearer to Thess…Vergina, great museum and history of Alexander. Kastoria, pretty, lake, lots of old mansions to look at from the fur trading days. On the way there the village of Siatista, also has mansions to look at, and a beaut icon museum, little known…go to the local dimarcheio and they will arrange to have them opened. Google this stuff to get more info. Lot of interesting history in Macedonia. All depends on which way you want to go. Florina in the North West also interesting, check out Prespes natural reserve close by.

    For anyone near Siatista, on 15 August the feast of the Virgin Mary they have a wonderful custom of hundreds of horses and riders going through the village streets and ending in a big all night party. It is very colorful and quaint.

  • #195053

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    Quite some info on Edessa and villages around.
    You can click on the English flag on the right of the page 😉

    Sorry I did have a beautiful site of Drama and surroundings but just cannot find it at the moment.

    You do realise we expect a ‘full report’ with pics when you come back :))

  • #195054

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Will do my best to tell a tall tale 😆

  • #195051

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    http://www.siatista.info/products/%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%AD%CF%81%CE%B1-%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%81%CF%84%CE%AE%CF%82-%CF%84%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%BF%CF%81%CE%B8%CE%BF%CE%B4%CE%BF%CE%BE%CE%AF%CE%B1%CF%82-%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B9-%CE%BF%CE%BB%CF%8C%CE%BA%CE%BB%CE%B7%CF%81%CE%B7%CF%82-%CF%84%CE%B7/
    Needs a translator but some photos and vids about Siatista.
    Don’t say a word about my long link, I simply can’t remember how to do it and no time to think it through ic_confused

  • #195031

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Thanks for all the suggestions. All planned out now so will be going to Edessa (for the waterfalls) and Kalabaka (for Meteora) a visit to Saloniki (can’t miss the second city of Greece) and then relax on Thassos.

    …so diary initialised to tell the tale.

  • #195030

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Make sure you get to eat the local river fish called Pestrofes around Edessa. It’s a type of trout and yummy.

  • #195026

    the reiver
    Participant
    Oracle

    @kolofarthos wrote:

    Kalabaka (for Meteora)

    Hope you’ve booked carefully here as it is a tourist trap. The monasteries are spectacular if somewhat physical to access, but we found the accommodation crap and not as projected on the computer. We walked out of our chosen place after one night and my wife then walked the main street inspecting all the “hotels” and we ended up in the Divani which is a modern but soulless establishment with a pool. Tavernas are geared for the passing trade, ie couldn’t give a toss, and it’s the only place in Greece we’ve been to where wine from the barrel costs twice that of a bottle !

    8)

    ps I have published this on TripAdviser a few years ago and I am sure you’ll recognise my moniker.

    8)

  • #195027

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Nice to get more ‘heads ups’.
    Will look out for that fish.
    Reiver; we will be staying out of town at a place that came highly recommended 😉 but it looks like we will have to take care eating out! I guess it’s like most of the places that rely on the ‘passing once’ tourist trade – take the money and run!

  • #195028

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Or…you could get a place that has a kitchen so you can cook your own fodder. I loved Meteora but made the trip via Trikala and did not stay in Kalambaka.

  • #195029

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    I had the impression hotels and restaurants were deserted.

    The number of busses at the monastries however were enormous.
    Due to better roads?
    Anyhow tours from Zakynthos, Kerkyra and Pilion arrive daily at the Meteora and leave the same day again.
    In the low season 15-20 busses a day are normal, I just cannot imagine how the high season will be like there.

    Has kolofarthos left already: beautifull weather in Scotland and low pressure in northern Greece reb_popo

  • #195024

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    What’s up kolly? Hope you’re all having a good time. We look forward to hearing your comments. Hope the rain did not dampen the trip. 😀

  • #195025

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    Don’t rub it in kiwi 😆

  • #195023

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    The epistle to the Greek-is-homens is currently being prepared…….siga siga so watch this space!

    Well actually watch another space when it might appear.

    Twas a holiday of contrasts with several highs and not just a couple of lows and maybe the odd bit of info for anyone visiting the Northern/Saloniki area.

    Much is promised and nothing delivered…. reb_popo ..oh, no, that was the Scottish referendum…. :roll:

  • #195022

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    This is going tot be soms report ic_ugeek

  • #195055

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Don’t hold your breath or expect too much; I’ve just been a tad busy, that’s all. Will try and put finger to keyboard this weekend.

  • #195052

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    This is in danger of becoming a long saga so if you fall asleep reading it ic_shock you are excused!! 😉

    I’ll do it in ‘relatively’ short sections ( relative to very long ones that is 😆 ) so on the plus side there will be a few more posts. And so……

    We had gone on a short cheapish Greek holiday in early summer break but were looking forward to a longer more interesting and restful time. Also we wished to go to somewhere we had not been before that had places of interest and sea/beaches. GIH members and others had advised so we headed off to Makedonia.

    Arriving at Saloniki we were reasonably central for Edessa, Meteora, Thassos and the city itself thus giving a variety of landscape to see and interests to visit whilst avoiding the package tourist hotspots of Halkidiki.
    For our first night, having had a very early start and lack of sleep we stayed close to the airport in Perea. It is a seaside town which perhaps has seen better days but still seems popular with locals and also commuters. The hotel there, just a one star place, was better than expected, comfortable, close to the beach and the boat taxis into the city, so fine for a night or two and exploring the city later on.

    There had been a family from Fife on our plane, who also hired a car from the same supplier and eventually turned up at the same hotel having hired their car before us and blamed “missing gears” for a slow start!. Had that feeling we were being followed and looking back at close to midnight it all seemed a bit surreal; but then we had been awake since 3:30 a.m.for the early flight! Was I paranoid? No just tired and I found the Scottish/Greek man very entertaining whilst I remained awake!

    Next day the easy drive to Edessa.

    Ha! How wrong can one be!

  • #195047

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Just saw this kolly. And………….? We await.

    I am in Thess now for a few weeks then off to Blighty again.

  • #195048

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Has it dried up yet?

    Next instalment coming up this weekend…unless of course the weather is sunny and dry ….but not much chance of that in my locality! 😳 Does the rain just follow me? 💡

  • #195049

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Yes dry and fine in Thess. Very warm am in a Tshirt and a cardie is too much.
    When my daughter came over for a week of a longed for break in Vouliagmeni, it rained for three days. Fine and hot the day she left.

    Quote:
  • #195050

    Ian
    Participant
    Homeric

    @kiwi wrote:

    Fine and hot the day she left.

    What?
    You, your daughter or the weather?

    😉

  • #195046

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    He he he Ian.

    Hmmm I guess that could also describe me (ten years ago) but mostly I meant the weather 😆

  • #195044

    the reiver
    Participant
    Oracle

    Come on Kolo, I’m a year older since you started, and I’m sure that Homer wrote the Iliad in less time than you’re taking over this missive !!! :roll:

    So, finger out and get typing.

    8)

  • #195045

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Chapter two.
    Where’s Noah with his Ark?

    Off on the motorway round Saloniki. Wide smooth roads, dry
    surfaces reasonable speed limits Once round the other side of the city it’s a
    relatively straight main road through a few small towns and villages to
    Edessa, online route maps predict just a couple of hours. Despite a late start after a good night’s sleep it should be quite a relaxing and new countryside to see.

    That was until last night threat of thunderstorms turned into a reality,
    Shortly after leaving the E90 the skies grew black and it started to
    rain. Thank goodness thunderstorms in Greece don’t last too long in
    summer. Half an hour later the gods obviously were out to teach us a
    lesson. A deluge that had no sign of stopping rivers running strongly had
    bust out onto the surrounding flat land and flooded right across the road
    in many places. We passed though villages and towns, and I hadn’t a clue
    which ones as we could see very little through the windscreen, but managed
    to not get swamped by the lorries and missed all the broken down cars that
    had obviously gone into the floods far too fast. Never seen so many drivers
    up to their knees in water!

    By the time we were at Rizari, although not far from Edessa, the rain had stopped and we needed to stop too. Sitting with a coffee and a tiropita in a Kafenion was just what we needed …as the rain started again!
    Fortunately not for long this time so the prospects were that the sun
    would soon be burning down on us again. Don’t believe Kiwi if she says it is warm and dry in Saloniki!

    Up the road the local garage kindly refitted the under body plastic bits that had become detached in all the flood water – for free (well apart from the gratuity I gave the
    mekanikos).

    Shortly we were climbing up the escarpment into Edessa and looking for the
    road to Lykoi our destination for a couple of nights. 7Km later
    having climbed higher into the hills we arrived at Lykoi and booked into
    our Guesthouse. We seemed to be the only people around (and indeed we were
    the only customers) so we relaxed for half an hour or so looking at the
    view as the clouds lifted…until it started to batter down again. The view
    from the balcony could have been great if only we could see it! Distant hills appeared and disappeared almost as soon.
    Take a snap, out with the books and Mrs K and I read a few more chapters of our first holiday books.
    headP1060033c.JPG[/attachment:1cpfgq0o]

    The evening meal was excellent. Just three locals also ate there (probably half the population of Lykoi) and there was no sign of anyone else, all because of a few drops of rain!

    A great nights sleep, very good breakfast, and then off to see the καταρράκτες in Edessa – once the rain had stopped. Well you can imagine after all that rain there was no shortage of water flowing through the town’s rivers and down the waterfalls. They were quite a sight.
    headP1060045c.JPG[/attachment:1cpfgq0o]
    Seemingly it happens three or four times a year, a dog is washed down the
    falls and, just our luck, it happened today. The fire service did their
    best to rescue it, stranded on the edge of a lower fall. It hardly seemed
    possible that the hound survived going over the main fall but there it was
    terrified. We didn’t see the results of the rescue but later it had gone
    so I guess it was successful. I certainly hope so.
    headP1060063c.JPG[/attachment:1cpfgq0o]

    Norwithstanding the horror of the hound, Edessa was pleasant with a pedestrianised area, a good number of cafes and a church with the biggest candelabra we had ever seen.
    However we picked a bad day as non of the museums and the like were open. The Guesthouse Katro, which was owned by Petros a local butcher in Edessa was really good and as the only customers on the second night so once again we had to indulge in my poor, and Janet’s better, Greek with a smattering of English thrown in for good measure. A family run place and it showed in the service and general quality.
    Guesthouse Kastro was in a great setting, magnificent views when the weather improved, good food, hospitable hosts, excellent rooms and good value. I’ll say little about the host’s Tsipouro except that is was super and did not cloud my judgement! I should have got some butchery tips for Sunnyboy but with hindsight it sounds like he needs none!

    ……………next cross country to Kalambaka – and I’d better do an abridged version otherwise Reiver will probably have read the Iliad in the meantime!.

  • #195043

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Poor things, you bought the Scottish rains with you. Tsipouro…I love it as long as,it is without the glikaniso. Discovered it once I had a sore tooth and was given it for pain. Yum.

  • #195042

    the reiver
    Participant
    Oracle

    Thanks Kolo, now it’s getting interesting. :)

    Nice pics, hope the mutt survived, it looked quite young.

    Look forward to the next instalment, hopefully in the near future.

    8)

  • #195041

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Chapter Three
    From tall falls to taller rocks.

    Leaving Edessa to go to Kalambaka for Meteora the most straightforward route is along the Ethniki Odos 2 West and then cutting down to the E65 towards Ptolemaida and then the E90 motorway from Kozani down to Metsova and thence Kalambaka. I still have to understand the Greek road identifications (perhaps someone will enlighten me) but I am very impressed with both the quality and the quietness of these Northern routes.

    From Edessa there were several most striking things; the mile after miles of orchards had apples trees galore with many a young tree having been recently planted. It was a bit reminiscent of the citrus groves in parts of the South Eastern Peloponnese and certainly big business hereabouts. The lack of traffic with occasional slow cars and more often very fast ones made us think when getting close to the junction at Filotas that it was a good job the Greek police are not too active! We spoke too soon as up ahead several of the racers had been stopped. What is more the next 20Km or so had several more cars with blue lights! Is Greece changing, becoming like the UK?

    Going down the E65 South (or is it the 3 ?) I felt a bit naive after witnessing the mixed landscape of agricultural and industrial activities. Several large power stations obviously make use of the local geology with some really big opencast mines and smoke belching out over to the horizon. Not the image of tourist Greece but then a great source of (non too green) power! I know some do not like wind farms or solar farms but they look a lot better, to me, than the scarred landscape that perhaps result from feeding the high output coal fired generators.

    Just four of the power plants around Ptolemaida generate 70% of Greece’s energy requirements from lignite but it also refreshing to see the number of solar farms recently developed such as the 300Mw one further down the road at Kozani. (Any one with great interest in these industrial matters can get information and links at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_Greece )

    To return to what impressed me most – was the road passing the Pindos mountains was one. Despite many a sign showing a mother bear and baby bear we failed to see a single one! We did however see, in spectacular settings, many a tunnel and bridge in close proximity! I should have started counting them but we must have driven through 15 of them along a small part of the Egnatia Odos. One moment we were passing through a mountain and the next high over a gorge. This road is a major engineering feat. Only afterwards having done yet another bit of research I find that, along it’s length from Igoumenitsa to Turkey there are no less than 1650 bridges and 76 tunnels. A decade in construction and over 6 Billion Euros a marvellous improvement for travellers – but where is the traffic? Hiding no doubt from the afternoon thunderstorm, grounded by Air Traffic Control! :(
    headP1060086c.JPG[/attachment:1ptjvshp]

    We travelled as far as Metsova and then down the winding older road into Kalambaka to see the world heritage site of Meteora an outstanding geological formation.
    headpanorama Meteora c.jpg[/attachment:1ptjvshp]
    The town itself was non too exiting, surprisingly busy in the evenings especially given that most tourists seemed to be day coach parties or train travellers. We passed the station several times going to and from to our hotel and felt it could do with a lick of paint here and there. Somebody must have thought the train needed painting too.
    headP1060156c.JPG[/attachment:1ptjvshp]

    The vast majority of tour coaches seemed to be from Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Poland. We did the tour round the rocks dodging the coaches and their occupants reminding me of the 60’s film (now what was it called?) with the then American tourists visiting Europe in a week…“if it’s Tuesday it must be Greece!”. I nearly found Wednesday might find me in Roumania at one busy parking spot when an ‘Eastern’ tour guide, much to the amusement of the Greek coach driver, tried to abduct me on to his leaving whistle stop tour bus – according to Mrs K, anyway. Perhaps just wishful thinking on her part….

    It was here in the car parks that we witnessed or first experience of photographic poses much like those of the 50s and 60s Vogue magazine. Are the Russians that far behind the times or has the fashion come round again? Note: Must remember dig out that old cardigan and strike up the man at ease pose…… All a bit too contrived for our liking.

  • #195039

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Nice kolly. I really love Meteora. Did you not go inside the monasteries? As for the contrived photo shoots. The Asians are good at it. Many do the thumbs up with both hands and look awkward and shy. The Russians are more into being cool and dare I say hands on hip sexy with pouting.

  • #195040

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    ………..Continued;

    Anyway all those rocks were very impressive. It’s hard to visualise the sea all those years ago above the level of the tallest rocks 24 million years ago (was anyone around then?) also how the monks, when they were not living in caves managed to build in some of those seemingly inaccessible places.
    headPanorama 2 Meteora c.JPG[/attachment:1c7yqf2a]

    It is difficult to capture on a photo the scale of the rocks and monasteries. Perhaps this one below will give those who have not yet visited an idea of the size.
    headP1060129 scale c.jpg[/attachment:1c7yqf2a]

    Ah yes the Russian poses…more on that later Kiwi!

    For now I remember fondly (Is that the right word?) the number of mossie bites that Mrs K was experiencing, the intrepid couple from Sheffield who had arrived on their gleaming Triumph motorbike, and then yet again the afternoon thunderstorm :nod:

  • #195033

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    Talking about the ‘Russian poses’?
    What about the new idea of going to a garbish dump for making photo’s 😯

  • #195034

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    Funny how memories of disasters become fondly remembered after time. Just shows that nothing is worth worrying about.how I would love to beat that idea Into the heads of my kids when they stress over inconsequential matters like work. My worse disasters are the ones I dine out on and that seem funniest.
    Ok, so did you feel the trip was worth it kolly?

  • #195035

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Oh, the trip continues Kiwi with chapter four next week. :roll:

    Watch this space for a few golden moments! 😀

    …………..don’t worry though, will probably have completed he epistle by chapter six…….. 😉 Well at least I hope so!

  • #195036

    the reiver
    Participant
    Oracle

    Thanks for the missives to date Kolo, waiting for the next rain drenched episodes. :roll:

    The top road through bear country must be one of the best surfaces in Greece, or at least it was a few years ago. No bears, no traffic, and no service areas.

    Been trawling through my photos of the region and would like to share a few now except that they are “too big”.
    How to I make them fit ??

    8)

  • #195037

    Ian
    Participant
    Homeric

    @the reiver wrote:

    Thanks for the missives to date Kolo, waiting for the next rain drenched episodes. :roll:

    The top road through bear country must be one of the best surfaces in Greece, or at least it was a few years ago. No bears, no traffic, and no service areas.

    Been trawling through my photos of the region and would like to share a few now except that they are “too big”.
    How to I make them fit ??

    8)

    Open them in “Paint” en choose “Resize”.

    If you want to save the original big one too then use “Save As” and store them under a different name.

  • #195038

    the reiver
    Participant
    Oracle

    headDSCN1168.JPG[/attachment:30hvfvuj]
    headDSCN1166.JPG[/attachment:30hvfvuj]

    Surprising what you find in rural Greece, and appropriate given tomorrow’s date.

    Meteora wildlife

    headDSCN0778.JPG[/attachment:30hvfvuj]

    Thanks Ian, I used Nero photosnap viewer. Don’t think I got it quite right. ic_confused

    8)

  • #195032

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Looks fine to me Reiver! Whereabouts were those taken? Very timely posting of the first two.

    Chapter four is with my publishers as I write……… but they have been distracted playing with a washing machine that broke down the other day………..

  • #195060

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Now where was I? Ah yes chapter of epistle returned from publisher as inappropriate for Christmas reading. Ho hum better get editing fast or I’ll miss the festive…..too late!

    However it may pass a few moments for fellow GIHomers as they ponder their 2015 New Year’s resolutions and how short they last…….

    Leaving Kalambaka and Meteora behind we set off (via LIDL) back towards Saloniki. This time , for the first part at least, along the more direct old road to Grevena. This was equally interesting as the motorway route, if not more so, and again with warnings to lookout for bears! Initially it was through a fairly agricultural area with several silos for storage but we could not guess exactly what was being stored as nothing was obvious.

    We ambled along till stopping, as we had done on the way down, at the Pindos café just off the motorway at Grevena. As cafes go it was well organised and obviously a stopping point for private and coach travellers. Well let’s be frank there is not a lot else by the side of the motorway for km upon km and the fare served was fine here. But we had to soon press on along, what I often find, motorways that make for fairly boring driving. At least there is much scenery to see and yet again tunnels to pass through. This time staying on the same road at Kozani (thus missing all the power stations) heading towards Veroia I thought. That’ll teach me, here comes the rain again and another power station!
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzNmQ0dUI3Smp4WDA/view?usp=sharing

    Kiwi had mentioned Vergina so I surprised Mrs K and took her to see the tombs and palace from the time of Phillip II of Macedonia. The latter was closed for work and the tombs looked big from the outside but not too impressive. How wrong I was (again!). Well worth going to see plenty of old stones as entrances to tombs and many artefacts such as a finely crafted gold oak leaf and acorn crown and a gold myrtle crown that was thought to belong to Phillip’s youngest wife who, following his death, was burned on a pyre to be with him in the afterlife. There were many other items, caskets, bowls, armour etc but only a small fraction of the city of Aigai (the place of many goats) is thought to have yet been unearthed. Pity though photographs were not permitted (but do see later).

    Looking for night accommodation (perhaps should have stayed in a tourist hotel in Vergina?) we passed through Veroia and I drove on through few small towns and along agricultural byways with hardly any signs of any hotels. Remembering a warning we had had about the Saloniki festival and most hotels being booked up turned into one in Chalkidona. Full. Oh dear I’m too old for a night in the car, but they said another one was a short distance away. This time the Maison Hotel was hosting a wedding and the restaurant was closed but we had a room and they did cook us a meal. We really hit lucky this spa hotel was very reasonably priced, had excellent service food and drink and I would happily stay there again. In fact for less than €50 it was one of the best hotels outside of Athens we had stayed in, so if you’re ever up that way, just take some mosssie repellent with you!

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzSzl5Vkl1YXhJZGs/view?usp=sharing
    Off past the city to Kavala for the ferry to Thassos. A pretty uneventful journey apart from yet more heavy rain. A basic tub of a ferry but a short crossing close past the oil/gas rigs (wonder if Ian’s been there?) on to Thassos at Ormos Prinou.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzdzV4dFVjWXZVaFU/view?usp=sharing

    It was soon evident that the heavy rain here had caused a few problems and there were diggers and workers out trying to clear the roads of debris of mud, sand, pebbles and rocks but the road was passable. We had pre-booked for the next 10 days at Skala Marion. After all that driving I wanted a nice warm sunny relaxing time.
    {Note to readers: there will not be a day by day blow by blow account here so waken up and finish this!}

    We enjoyed the village but the accommodation was very small ( and just as much as the Maison Hotel!) and several tavernas, but all with limited menus but the food was good. Nearly all the cars we saw were non Greek with lots from Serbia, Romania, Russia and Bulgaria and it was quite busy for the time of year. (A family member had been there many years ago and said how green and quiet it was). We saw why it was so green on the island and, since the recommendation, there had been much hotel building and what seemed like inward investment hence the number of tourists.

    We had our first lazy day on the beach but there was still stinking brown floodwater coming off the land so we gave swimming a miss. By now this was the longest period we had been in Greece with barely a glimpse of the sun and so every opportunity would be taken to get some vitamin D. Although it was sunny it was non too warm and the beach was only sparsely populated.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzTk1VZGRzZ2ZQM3c/view?usp=sharing

    Now you will no doubt remember the comments in an earlier chapter regarding the posers. My apologies to these people but the theme continued, and they were not the only ones. What is it about people on holiday and snaps? Is it me?
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzZ1BpZ1BIeWdiaFk/view?usp=sharing

    It was so cold and windy that evening so we ended up eating indoors that night and did a partial island tour the following day. You guessed it the sun had gone again for much of the day. Lunch however in a sunny spell was excellent at a taverna/hotel overlooking Aliki and we had a glimpse of how great it could be here with a wonderful view along the coast.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzVS1xVVRrS0hUanM/view?usp=sharing

    Having noted that there had been storms and flooding throughout the Balkans many visitors soon evaporated just as the umbrellas were being retrieved from the sea and re erected. Then I remembered, was that the only reason, oh no, summer was officially ending and Alien’s prediction comes true as sun beds and umbrellas seem to disappear overnight!

    Not much else of interest for Thassos ( I don’t find a cold interesting and Mrs K will not want to be reminded of more mossie bites) except for the first taste we had ever had of the Thassos dried olives. I had to take a bag home and the local shop had their own at a very reasonable price. { quick here break to munch a few}
    {sorry back to task in hand}

    We did strike up an English/Greek conversation of sorts with one of the taverna owners and asked about the lack of ‘oven’ dishes. He told us that the usual visitors on Thassos from Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia were keen on grilled seafood only and oven and stew dishes would go to waste. Now the fish was very good but we felt our diet lacked variety as the only frequent alternative was pasta and pizza!

    Enough of of Thassos. Next stop Perea again and the ferryboat into Saloniki.

    {keep awake now!}

    Yep, just a drop more rain, so we headed to the famous White Tower, had a bite of lunch and then for the museum. I suppose we did not get to see much of the city but it seemed generally quite pleasant once the rain stopped. This was our first experience of many down and outs sleeping rough right outside some of the swanky tavernas on the park benches. I guess there will be many in very poor situations but had not seen them in Greece before. I suppose we were last in a big Greek city centre some time back so things may well have changed and we should not have been surprised, times can be very hard in many places but it seems more common in the UK. Nobody took much notice of them and they were not begging but it made a huge contrast to see the rough sleepers almost side by side with the wealthy stuffing their faces.

    The White Tower was interesting and we learned a little of the city’s history but the archaeological museum was a delight with many exhibits contemporary and very similar to the tombs at Vergina – and this time photographs were allowed so I include a few below and also of the statue of Alexander the Great on his old nag.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzcWp0Sm11akl6NEk/view?usp=sharing

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzQ0lXTW9qenNWckE/view?usp=sharing

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzdU9xc3ktWHYzdGc/view?usp=sharing

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-LLVVfNN-NzaUh1YXBpYkRodlU/view?usp=sharing

    So this ended up as a long trip with poor weather but as usual in Greece the thunderstorms and rain rarely last all day in summer or autumn and we made the best of it as possible. If you were just a beach lover you probably would have taken a leaf out of the Balkan visitors and headed home but we enjoyed it, have lots on interesting memories and can now laugh at the downsides (cold gone, Mrs K recovered from her bites etc.).

    Wow it has taken me so long to finish it’s now ‘next year’ and I am looking forward to another trip!

  • #195061

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    All I can say is how sad I felt that the weather ruined what could have been a lovely trip. It doesn’t feel lIke Greece when it rains in summer. Glad you liked the museums, they are amazing.

    I have been to a lot of islands and places in Greece, but the one time I really enjoyed was staying in Vouliagmeni out of Athens on the South East coast. Always perfect weather, white sandy beaches and warm waters. I can’t describe the light and the feeling.

    The cheaper way to do it is to find a hotel or apartment in Glyfada or Voula which is about the end of the Athens tram line. From there you can visit those Eastern beaches by bus or car, plus have the added opportunity to get in among the resident Greeks rather than the tourists. You get to eat foods other than tourist pizza and moussaka, and I reckon the experience is much more auThentic since you can hop deep into the suburbs at night and experience music and food as an average Greek would.

    Also from there it’s a short trip to Pireaus to hop over to one of the closest islands even as a day trip and Mrs kolly can do some shopping. Best of all worlds.

  • #195062

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Don’t get me wrong, Kiwi. The trip was enjoyable and a good interesting experience in many ways with many things we would not have missed – and some things we were glad to miss such as the all day breakfast. One thing I forgot to mention was that at every meal we were offered something on the house from free wine to fruit or glyco. That glyco was the best with really tasty preserved cherries etc.and every meal was great value. The biggest down side was all the rain that we could have had in abundance at home!

    I agree that being just outside Athens is good area to stay, for a short time, and not too far from the airport but Mrs I would not thank me for a shopping trip! ic_wink

  • #195063

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    Now even pics of an oilrig?

    Can you please give a warning well in advance when your next trip to Greece will be!
    Surely even for Scottish holidaymakers you have had enough rain during your holiday.
    Was it beautiful weather in Scotland when you were in Greece?

  • #195064

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Humph!
    Yes, as usual, sunny, dry and warm whilst we were away! :( but nowhere near as exiting as being in Greece.

    Of course I will let you all know the time to avoid. You should be fine for a few months at least 😉

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