Route through Greece

When I show my passport at the border from Albania to Greece, an official starts singing "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles". It takes me a moment to realize what is going on. I laugh and say "Thanks but no". He smiles and waves me through.
There is only a highway after the border, and a rough gravel road. I take the later towards Kastoria and enjoy the first night in that neat town with a charming old centre. On small roads I move on to Meteora. There a many shrines on the roadside that look like small churches. I learn about the bears that roam the hills, that's why people have really big dogs here. I hope not to meet them and lose any interest in stealth camping.

Welcome to Greece roadside shrine

In the wonderland of Meteora I meet my father and Beate again. Together we hike and visit some of the famous ancient rock monasteries. 24 of them were built in the 13th and 14th centuries on top of sandstone rocks and withstood all the historic turmoil since then. As well, we enjoy some fantastic Greek BBQ on the campground.

Magic woods near Kastraki Meeting up in Meteora Meteora and its rock monastries

There are plenty of cotton fields in the plains South of Meteora. After being attacked by packs of stray dogs twice on a single day in remote mountain areas, I decide to cycle on bigger roads to avoid further incidents.

cotton fields cotton harvester

I visit the ruins of the famous Oracle of Delphi and marvel about the fine masonry. Some historical facts: The different Greek city states did come here, ask for guidance and contribute fine temples and statues. Even the Romans visited the oracle for this purpose after they conquered ancient Greek, and restored demolished parts. Little more enlightened I visit Nafpaktos with its old harbour in the Street of Corinth. A free of charge ferry brings me over to the Peloponnese peninsula - the famous Rio-Antirrio Bridge is forbidden for cyclists.

View over Oracle of Delphi site Street of Corinth


Harbour of Nafpaktos View of the Rio-Antirrio Bridge between mainland an Peloponnese

From Patras to Pyrgos I take the busy highway 8 which is no fun since there is no shoulder, no space and no other options if a cyclist wants to stick to the west coast of the Peloponnese. And I am still cautious with remote roads in the hills after those dog attacks. The ruins of ancient Olympia are here, and the even older site of Hectors palace, that has been part of Homers "Odyssey".

My wish for everybody Ancient site of Olympia Drama at Sunset on Tholo Beach

I leave the East coast and spoil myself for a couple of days with an AirBnB in Kalamata to work on some school projects. The city seems to be less popular with foreign tourists, despite the long sandy beach and the bars and restaurants. Further Southeast, I visit the Caves of Diros in a guided boat tour. The next day, I take a ferry from Gythio to Crete. A Dutch lady tells me on deck how she fell in love last year, and now returns to her beloved island for the winter. I envy her for this mindset. I have seen so many places lately but haven't really made a connection to any of those places.

Aeropolis on the ferry

Hallo Welt