Winding Down in Greece

After the first brief five day stop-over in Athens in late May we have now been able to spend a little more time revisiting a few places we went to during our previous trip here as well as a couple of new locations. First up was the Pelion Peninsula and specifically the town of Portaria which is where you can find the Kritsa “Gastronomy” Hotel. With a great location right on the delightful town square and some of the best food in Greece we spent some time there for Sunny’s birthday and left having eaten way too much, but seeing as we won’t be back that way for a while we had to make sure we experienced it fully!

Part of the (included) breakfast spread at the Kritsa.

And still more …

Sunny with the chef.

A small lunch on Sunny’s birthday.

Greek pumpkin pie, eggplant salad, and a summer salad of rocket with pomegranate and haloumi.

At the Kritsa.

The stems are the giveaway - this is plastic display fruit in a jar.

Very close by to Portaria is another well situated village, Makrinitsa, and there is a short but nice walk through the forest on the “Centaur’s Path”. The word Pelion or Pilion in Greek, apparently means “sun’s gate”, and the peninsula is indeed an amazingly productive garden full of herbs and edible plants. Just like on Corsica, everything smells so good!

After a very pleasant time spent in the Pelion we made our way to another great spot that we had visited previously, Meteora, with its World Heritage listed monasteries perched in their spectacular positions high on top of some interesting and beautiful rock formations overlooking the valley and plains below. You can visit the monasteries, which we had done previously and did (one of them) again this time around, but for us much of the magic is seen more from afar, as well as the monopati, or monk’s paths, that wind through the forests below the cliffs.

Meteora is also a minor mecca for rock climbers in Greece and at any one time you can generally find a number of climbers scaling one of the many vertical rock faces found virtually everywhere in the area.

We lucked it one morning going for an early walk with sudden clouds forming around one group of rocks and then the next morning catching the full moon setting over several of the monasteries just before sunrise. The bonus being of course, that there were no cars or even people intruding into the view.

We now have just a few more days left on the mainland before heading to our last stop on the popular island of Santorini where we wrap up our time here.

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