Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 15:26
strangelover: (Northern Greece)
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

Anniversary Getaway )

The full set of photos are here on Flickr.
strangelover: (Northern Greece)
It was time for The Boyfriend and I to go on our anniversary holiday, last year it was Pilio, this year we opted for our favourite destination - Zagorohoria, with a few stops along the way.

Mountains from Metsovo

My favourite part of the world )

The full set of photos are here on Flickr.
strangelover: (Northern Greece)
It had been five long years since I was last in Epirus. I'd really missed this place and I am certain it won't be five more years before I return, more like five months (I hope!).


Up north )

The full set of photographs are here on Flickr.
strangelover: (Northern Greece)

Inside the Perama Cave

Perama & Metsovo - caves, cheese and snow )
strangelover: (Northern Greece)
The news was warning of "arctic weather" and snow aplenty up in Northern Greece, but it took until Monday to find it. Thankfully the wait was worth it. The past few days have been spent up north, for various reasons, the basic 'excuse' which was to attend the first munch in Ioannina, which is conveniently located right next to my favourite place in Greece.

Friday: northward bound )

Saturday: munch in Ioannina )

Sunday: earthquakes and coffee )
The scenery in the area of Zagori is astoundingly beautiful, something you really should experience for yourself. We enjoyed driving around, before making the first stop for lunch in Tsepelovo, where we had metsovone saganaki, some salad and sausages. I don't eat meat very often, but I figure that on the rare occasion I do, it may as well be damn good meat and the local, handmade sausages here are tasty enough for me to manage over a quarter of one, which might not sound much, but it's enough for me. Next was Sterna, for coffee and spoon sweets before heading off to check on our usual camping site, only to find it a squelchy bog. As we searched for an alternative, the sky really opened up and we realised that camping just wasn't going to happen, unless we fancied being drowned or swept away by a river during the night. We drove to Dilofo and went to Lithos cafe[2], huddled around the fire drinking mountain tea, leafing through our guide book to the area and found a highly recommended hotel in the same village - the beautiful Archontiko [Αρχοντικό], which was originally a mansion house of the area. We stayed in Room No. 12, which was toasty warm, the bed was a beautiful (and comfortable) four poster, there was a fire place in the room, amazing views, great breakfast and really friendly and helpful staff. I know I'll be staying here again. You should too. It sure beat swimming in my sleep!

Monday morning we woke to see the fog lingering over the village and surrounding mountains, before heading downstairs for breakfast, packing up and taking our time driving through the eastern (and less touristy) areas of Zagorohoria, which featured much off-roading in the Bird Magnet MkII and the discovery that our chosen route was no longer available due to a landslide blocking the way. But there was snow, so I was happy. We stopped near Aoos, cleaned up the rubbish some bastards had left behind (including a large collection of empty retsina bottles), goofed around in the snow and then made our way to Metsovo for lunch. The original plan had been to camp out again, but certain things required attention, so after a coffee in a cosy café (with seating styling that I plan to use for my own place), we bought noodles and cheese and made our way home, taking the same route back, until we got to Nafpaktos, where we went over the Rio-Antirio bridge and drove through the Peloponnese (as we'd been informed it was a much faster route). Some 1200+ kilometres later, we were home.

Another photograph of snow )

Footnotes )
strangelover: (Northern Greece)
[Part I]: Tequila is bad, no seafood by the sea and the seemingly endless drive north.

[Part II]: Disrespectful pensioners, ancient sites and frogs legs on the island.

[Part III]: Bridges, orgasmic food and giant cow-belled goats.


Our next destination was Metsovo, where we decided to spring for a hotel as a) it's quite damp and humid in this area which makes camping very difficult and b) we were all in dire need of a shower. As it was still too early for checking in, we found a taverna and had some lunch - local noodles with metsovone cheese = heavenly! After lunch we ambled (not very far, I might add) up the road and checked into Hotel Egnatia for a totally reasonable price considering how posh it looked and how central it was (the photo to the right is the view from our balcony). That said, I would have happily paid through the nose just to be able to shower and use a proper toilet, especially after having nearly done a somersault down the embankment at our campsite with my pants around my ankles while trying to pee and keep an eye out for wildlife. Anyway, we all quickly made use of the shower facilities and then The Boyfriend and I napped while [personal profile] finding_bleu wandered around the town.

We met up mid-afternoon and walked around able to smell the smoked scent that permeates the village now that we weren't smoke scented (care of the campfires) ourselves. We visited the church (just before it shut), filled with beautiful icons and offerings dating back over the years. This was followed by coffee, dessert (vanilla ice-cream with honey and walnuts) and the executive decision was made to drink in the bar that told us to do so, along with smiling. Their measures were... generous, to say the least and the music was well and truly stuck in the Eighties. Two drinks apiece and we were merrily tipsy, so we staggered down to the taverna where I'd cried upon entering last time due to their hole-in-the-floor approach to toilets, but the food was ace, and proved so again. We then made it back to the hotel and collapsed into the sweet, sweet, soft bed and thus, oblivion.

In the morning, we were up bright and early and showered again (simply because we could) enjoyed rather good coffee and the buffet breakfast before wandering back to the town centre and then to spend over €100 on immense phallic cheese and noodles before heading onto the last place on our holiday itinerary - Meteora.

Town square )

[Concludes here]
strangelover: (Northern Greece)
Absolutely fabulous getaway, I'm almost sad to be back home in Athens.

Zagori is quite possibly the most beautiful place on the planet, even if we did almost freeze our collective butts off in the tents at night. We are a bunch of hardcore, cock Κωκ-eating bitches.

There was much, much driving (thank the lords for The Boyfriend), sleeping under the stars, imbibing of wine, excellent food stuffs (oh my gods, the cheese!), hiking on mountains, walking over bridges, being tourists, photograph taking, making camp fires, getting stranded due to a dead car battery, getting thee to a nunnery, countless goats, ancient sites aplenty and very beautiful scenery each and every day.

More later, but we still have [personal profile] finding_bleu's company and I have a tart to... make.

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