Having waxed lyrical about fabulous France and raptured about terrific Tuscany in previous posts it is now time to gush about glorious Greece. The ferry from Bari deposited us at Corfu town and we made our way to a camp ground at Ipsos beach. With only the taverna between Normie and the water we enjoyed the local area for a day before hiring a scooter and exploring the island over the next few days.
We found secluded beaches, mountain top lookouts and even a ghost town. Unfortunately most of the pics from these adventures lay on the hard drive of Deb’s computer which died a couple of days ago and is temporarily (I hope) unaccessible.
Once we hit the mainland it was off to magical Meteora with their ancient monasteries perched atop strange rock formations.
Thessaloniki is Greece’s biggest city after Athens and it was here that we checked into a camper dealer for some minor repairs. The city is known for it’s food and we were not disappointed, but again the picture proof of this will have to come later. Sticking to the coast we stopped at Thermopylae, the site of the famous battle some 2500 years ago. While the hot springs written about by Homer still exist there is little else to mark the spot except for the statue of King Leonidas at a small memorial.
Cutting across Parnassus we were able to lunch in the modern town of Delphi with fabulous views out to the coast before exploring the ruins of the ancient oracle.
Crossing the Gulf of Corinth we camped at a beach called Diakopto which is the departure point for the cog train that takes tourists up to the historical mountain village of Kalavryta. During this trip we befriended another Aussie couple (we’re not the only crazy ones), Melva & John, from Glen Innes so we stayed an extra couple of days while they gave us some tips about Greece and we returned the favour with Italy.
Once at Kyllini we parked Normie at a beach campground and took the ferry to Kefalonia where, thanks to Deb’s amazing organisational skills, we were met by Adam & Jason who had already picked up the hire car and took us to the beachfront apartment we had for the week. Once again the week was spent exploring and eating….ok mainly eating…. but always with a fabulous outlook.
With the week over we took the ferry to the next island of Zakynthos where our caravan club friends, Lorraine and John, were spending the summer on their family property and had kindly invited us to stay for a few days. They made us very welcome and showed us around the many attractions on offer at this amazing island.
As you can tell from the images below, all they ever seem to do in the islands is sing, dance, eat & drink. This is decidedly different to the mainland where they eat first:)
Entirely by coincidence we arrived at Olympia the same day the games in Rio were having their closing ceremony. It was a larger site than we expected and the museum held some interesting exhibits.
Now at the southern tip of the Peloponnese, the Ionian Sea became the Mediterranean and the rugged landscape became even more beautiful.
While exploring Messini you can make out pre-Greek, Greek and Roman influences.
After visiting Mycenae, Nafplion and the Corinth canal the weather changed as if to signal that it was time to start heading North again, so we picked our way via a few more lovely beach camps, back to Igoumenitsa where we boarded the ferry to commence our long journey home.
After 24 hours we arrived at Trieste in Italy but as it was around 4:30 am we decided to drive for a couple of hours before pulling over for a few hours sleep at the foothills of the Dolomites. Last year when we were in this region I had wanted to travel the Großglockner High Alpine Road but unfortunately the weather didn’t play along. It is quite expensive and so to enjoy the trip you should endeavour to go on as fine a day as possible.
So after checking the weather app we saw their was a small window of opportunity and decided to go for it and darted through the Dolomites and up into the Alps to the town of Heiligenblut where we camped for the night and started our Alpine adventure the next day. Every kilometre and every single one of the 36 turns of the road is spectacular and we happily spent around 5 hours driving the 50 km route.
With the weather app showing nothing but rain for the next 10 days it is definitely time to wind up this year’s adventure and make a beeline back to Kent where we’ll send Normie off for a good rest and we’ll head back to Oz….but not before we spend a few days in Honkers enroute….a girl’s gotta shop!