From Ithaca to the north of Greece and back via Athens - On The Road 4
Ithaca Greece ..
The rain and low cloud, made for an eerie discovery. Not even a barking dog, and that's unusual for any village in Greece.
The countryside toward Florina looked amazing, but the higher we climbed, the less we began to see of it. We almost headed for Albania, but we didn't have all the papers for the car and so we couldn't get in.
Before heading to Athens we took a day trip to Florina even further north. It's only around 55 kilometers from Kastoria and seeing it was raining, there wasn't much point in sitting around in the hotel room. In the car we could at least see something... or so we thought.
Our first stop was at Gavros, a mud brick village which seemed completely abandoned. It jutted out of a lush green mound and looked intriguing enough to make the detour.
As we headed further into the mountains, the temperature dropped quite dramatically. We made a coffee stop at a local cafe, deep in bear country and warmed ourselves on the open food fire. There was talk of the first snow the following day, but by the low temp and low sky, it was quite possible that between the Cafe and Florina, the mountains could already begin to get icey. The higher we go, we realize it's not just fog on the road, but we're actually driving through the sky.
Day turned into night as we assumed we had reached the apex of the mountain, and visibility was reduced to just a few meters ahead.
It rained so much that Florina was just another place seen from behind the car windscreen. We drove around a little looking for something interesting, but gave up and decided to head to Athens instead, where, if we hurried, we might beat the weather which was working its way down south from the north.
We began to make our way down south toward Athens. We had anticipated a long trip so we planned for another stop in Karditsa, but in the meantime, we stopped at more villages off the main road to see inside country life with lumber jacks, pig farmers and shepherds living in bear country.
On The Road 4
We made a stop here and there to see inside some of the mountain villages. It was a trip back in time. The winter landscape would be quite relentless in these parts.
The rain just wouldn't stop. The wet front seemed to cover all of Mainland Greece. A call to Ithaki informed us that it was sunny there however.
This truck driver clocked 135 km p/h when trucks and buses are restricted to under 100 km p/h on a freeway and even less on smaller roads. On slippery, rainy surfaces, we watched this truck driver nearly wipe out 4 or 5 cars as he raced them to take them over.
Once we reached Lamia, it was all freeway from there.
In the distance we could see that the closer we got to Athens, the less threatening the skies became. The temperature was also rising. Athens here we come.