Day 79 : Ioannina, Greece

Decision made, we’re off again.  Sometimes, like here in Lychnos, when we are having a wonderful time, it’s difficult to tear ourselves away.  But there are still so many things to do and see that we need to push on.

When we tell people that we will be travelling for 6 months, it seems like such a long time – it is a long time to be away from family and friends and our roots back home. But Europe is an enormous place with many, many wonderful things to see and do that you almost need 6 months in each country, never mind 6 months to do 15 countries!  So our trip is really just touching on highlights that we have chosen to see and visit so that we know where we want to re-visit.  The only thing that has done is made us want to come back and do more of ALL of them.  We haven’t been able to chose any 1 country over the other….1st world problems, hey????

But before we leave, we’re off to the beach for one last early morning swim.  Quickly into the water as it’s pretty cool.  Aaarrgggghh I’m jumping up and down in the chest deep water….what’s that????  The gorgeous Mr T, I swear, might still be asleep but he answers anyway, “Stop jumping up and down, it’s just those little fish you find in fish foot therapy stores.  They might just give you a little nibble and……. FUUUUUUUCCCKKK, it bit me!!”, as blood from his wound seeps lazily into the cold water, “the little fucker bit a scab off my mozzie bite and I’m bleeding!”.  Watch out for the cannibal fishies…..but they only operate early morning, so you should be fine!

And so ends our stay in Lychnos.  Eventful and memorable!

Our next stop is Meteora (meaning lofty or suspended in the sky) where 9 monasteries (all still working monasteries!) are built on pillars of rock.  If you ever saw James Bond in “For Your Eyes Only” (many years ago!  We’re talking Roger Moore here!), he climbs up to the Holy Trinity monastery to confront the baddie.  They also use it as inspiration for a scene in Game of Thrones Season 1 when Tyrion is locked in the Eyrie and the view out of the moon doors is the rock pillars of the monasteries as well.  Anyway, the gorgeous Mr T had this down as a “must see” sight, so that’s where we’re heading.  It means that we have to back-track to Ioannina again before travelling over and through the Pindus Mountains to get to it.

Back in Ioannina we’re just driving through the east side of town, rather industrial looking, when we spot some smoke rising from a road-side braai and a queue of cars along side.  Souvlaki street food!!  Bring it on!  We find a parking a little further on up a side street behind a cop car (feeling pretty sure that if he’s parked there, we can too) and trot over the road to the little cabin with a window and a grizzled man gently fanning flames into the charcoal under some delectable smelling souvlaki.

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And at €1 per stick for the souvlaki, we were able to splash out on some chips and cokes and ate like kings for under €7 (the cokes were from a kiosk t’other side of the road and we got them at cost price and the guy threw in some bread for free “just in case we were hungry”!).  Suitably replete, we set off again for another wild camp spot that we had clocked on our previous visit.

Great views of the lake and even though it is on the roadside, a very quiet part of the road, so a restful night ensued as we gathered ourselves for the next day’s drive.

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