Travel Journal


(Wednesday 5 February 2014) by Mariken
Congratulations to us, today we celebrate one year on the road! That many more years may follow. :-D And to treat ourselves we bought ferry tickets to Kalymnos, Europe's current climbing hotspot number 1. Our boat leaves on Saturday from Athens and we will travel in style, having booked a cabin to spend the night, to save all our energy for some hardcore climbing (or as hardcore as you can get it after three lazy, lazy months).

The coming days we will spend in Nafplio, former capital (albeit very briefly) of Greece, a small town that excels in cosy bars and restaurants. We already strolled through the old town a couple of times, sometimes accompanied by some dogs (there are many stray dogs in Greece and judging by how they look, many of them were put out quite recently. Financial crisis is a real bitch.). I don't know why stray dogs always find us, maybe we don't smell so artificial anymore after one year on the road (i.e. we just stink).

In Meteora we visited two other monasteries after the first one, so two more table cloth opportunities. The monasteries are worth it, though, and when the sun is shining the surroundings are really photogenic. Too bad taking pictures inside the beautiful churches is not allowed, although not everyone cares for that rule. When visiting the monastery of Varlaam, we were preceded by a huge tour group, of which the women did neither care for the skirts, nor for the request to speak in hushed tones, nor for the prohibition to take pictures inside the church. At those moments I am just very glad that a) it is not high season, so there are not more of these kind of tour groups, b) I am not part of this tour group, because I would die of humiliation and c) they have not closed the monastery already to prevent the coming and going of these culturally insensitive morons. There are so many things in life to be grateful for.

After we left Meteora, we headed for Delphi, a carefully planned visit. The archaeological site of Delphi, once the sanctimony of Apollo and the seat of the ancient oracle, is one of the prime sites of Greece and therefore not cheap. However, I had read somewhere that in winter on the first Sunday of the month all state owned sites are free. So we arrived in Delphi on Friday evening, visited some smaller, free sites on Saturday and headed for the main site on Sunday, which was indeed free! I don't mind stimulating the Greek economy, but since we are jobless, I don't mind taking care of my own budget either. So three days of Delphi and it was well worth the visit. We stayed in a nice hotel, ate delicious food (although it was again way too much for me, I even went running one day to try to burn off all calories I have been taking in the past week) and visited beautiful sites. One of the highlights was the monastery of Osios Loukas, a hidden UNESCO World Heritage Site, with beautiful mosaics from Byzantine times.

After Delphi we continued to the Peleponnese, to Nafplio, where, according to the Rock Climbing Atlas, it would be good climbing, even in winter. Well, we found the site and it is bolted and looks beautiful, but the city council in all its wisdom has decided that climbing is banned here. We could walk the stairs to the nearby castle if we wanted to climb, some civil servant at the town hall suggested. Sometimes I am not surprised Greece is in a financial crisis if this is the level of understanding of tourists displayed by government employees. But who cares, we are going to Kalymnos! B-)

  • Congrats! by Marike
    • Thanks! by Mariken
  • 5 februari 2013 by mama
  • Happy anniversary by Aafke
  • Shaffy by Jac
  • Ti kanis? by Bibiche
    • Kalymnos rules! by Mariken
  • levensteken by mama

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