17.05.2009 - 17.05.2009
Left Monodendri after having apple pie for breakfast again – very strange but tasted good. Mountains every direction you look. Greece (as in other parts of Europe) seems to be covered in a haze most of the time. While it is frustrating (especially for taking photos) it also creates a very 3D effect with layer upon layer of mountains – all very soft in the haze.
Drove around Ioaninna (which looks both picturesque and fascinating) to another mountain village town, Metsova. Originally we had intended to stay in Metsova but it is a very touristy town with not a lot to do but look at the shops and, of course, eat and drink – unless you are there in winter and go skiing. After Arachova we had had enough of cute and touristy mountain villages so decided to go on to Meteora.
Drive from Metsova to Meteora is over a very steep (again) mountain pass. Again scenery was amazing but hard on Dave as road is very very bendy and not in great condition. Land-slides are obviously common along the road (as they seem to be on many roads) and there were parts of the road that had been washed away (not uncommon) and not carefully repaired. In some spots there were quite large cracks across the road as if the next heavy rain would wash the road away.
Got to Kastraki (one of the towns in the Meteora area) for a late lunch – had in the town square looking up at these huge rock monoliths. Trying to find a hotel Dave tried to do a u-turn, banged into the footpath (raised and covered in blocks of the local stone – quite sharp at the corners) and the front right hand tyre could be heard to deflate – and a nice little tear in the side too. As the man at the place we took it to the next day said – ‘kaput’. Had to put on the silly little spare – not a real spare, just one of those pretend ones. Tried to find a hotel the Lonely Planet suggested but gave up when realized it was some way out of town and just went in to the closest one that looked OK. Have a room on the first floor overlooking some of the big rocks and a stork’s nest.