Ήπειρος

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 15:26
strangelover: (Northern Greece)
[personal profile] strangelover
The annual anniversary getaway, this year The Boyfriend and I celebrated twelve years together by returning to our favourite place on earth...

End of the Road


We set out in the morning, for our stop over in Metsovo. The drive up was pretty relaxed and we made it to the village before 19:00, we found our hotel with ease, and went to grab some dinner at a taverna on the square, before returning to our favourite local bar for a glass or two of wine. Then it was back to the hotel to get some sleep.

In the morning, we woke up and discovered the rumours of an enormous and delicious breakfast at the hotel were indeed true. Breakfast, a stroll by the square and a top up coffee later, we made our way towards Zagoria. We passed over Chrysovitsa, along side Aoos, stopping along the way to take photos. Another short stop in Tristeno, an almost abandoned village, with a path so overgrown and strewn with fallen leaves that it made trekking down it rather hazardous! We finally reached our destination of Tspelovo around 17:00, as the sun was setting. Checking in to our usual hotel, we then set off in search of something to eat, which was much more difficult than we expected. Everything on the square of Tspelovo was shut, so we tried Dilofo, Kipi (where a restaurant was opening at 20:00), Vitsa and finally Monodhendri, we settled on the first place we found open, as we were so hungry by this point. Then it was back to the hotel, to sit around the fireplace with some tea, as the only other guests practised music (and who were pretty good, playing some unusual rebetiko).

Χρυσοβίτσα

The next day we had a lazy breakfast, before setting off to Kapesovo, only to find Sterna shut! We weren't liking this trend! However, a return to Dilofo saw Lithos open, so we camped out there for the day - sitting by the fire, drinking tea and also having a late lunch. In the evening, we stopped by the Kokkorou stone bridge and attempted to take night shots until we could no longer feel our fingers due to the cold.

Γεφύρι Κόκκορου

The next morning, we had breakfast and returned to Sterna, this time with much more success. I sat outside in the sunshine and fussed kittens, while drinking coffee and chatting with the owner. She gave us the news that her daughter had opened up another Sterna cafe in the village of Papigo, so with no other plans, we decided to drive over there. The roads were icy, but the views were gorgeous and we arrived in Papigo ready to grab some dinner. We were recommended Astra, and it was well deserved praise. The food was fantastic and we left sated and very full! Then we headed to the new Sterna, which is much larger than the original, but equally cosy. We had some local liquors and chatted to the owner for a while, before heading back to the hotel and drinking some wine by the fireplace.

Στέρνα

The next morning, we planned a short hike to Beloi view point, which offers some pretty spectacular views over Vikos Gorge. The weather was clear, sunny and surprisingly warm, but the walk was easy and the views were indeed amazing. We pottered around for a while, taking photos and enjoying the view while sitting in the sunshine. Once we'd finished the hike, we headed back to Kapesovo, to have lunch at Thoukididis', we'd stayed in the guesthouse some years ago, but we'd not eaten at the restaurant since - I'm glad we did, the food was amazing. It's all locally sourced, and the mushroom dishes in particular were fantastic. Highly recommended! Then we skipped down to Sterna for coffee, dessert and kitten fussing. We ventured back to Tspelovo and found the square thriving with people, so we stopped in Iris for some rakomelo before heading back to the hotel for some sleep.

Μπελόη

The next morning we went back to Lithos to meet with some friends for a coffee, which turned into lunch. The afternoon passed quickly, but we stopped for a final coffee at Sterna (and to get some local honey and rose petal jam), then back to the hotel with some wine in front of the fireplace. A very lazy day, but lovely nonetheless.

Καπέσοβο

Our final morning, we checked out and went to Kipi to take our anniversary photos by the Kontodimou-Lazaridi bridge and then made our way over to Metsovo. We had lunch at a new (to us) spot, which was packed to the rafters with bus loads of school kids, which sadly wasn't the worst of it. After lunch and a coffee at Metsovorama, we grabbed some cheese and local noodles before starting what should have been a four hour drive. Just before Kalampaka The Boyfriend started to feel unwell, so we had a break and after a while got back on the road. Then I started to feel unwell too, nausea, cold shivers, etc. Food poisoning ahoy! The drive home took almost fourteen hours, due to many stops for toilet breaks and naps. Urgh. We both slept for about 27 hours straight once we arrived home, not the best ending to an otherwise relaxing holiday!

The full set of photos are here on Flickr.

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