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Published: October 19th 2009
Total Distance Cycled: 516km
The winds calmed down overnight, but we were still left with cold weather. We wore our jackets and gloves for the first time. We first had to climb over a mountain pass, which brought the temperature down much too low for comfort. We could see our breath at this point… After that, though, the rest of the day was our best so far. We cycled at least half of the day on one of Greece’s new freeways, which was quite impressive. 130kmh is the speed limit here! We even had the wind working with us now! Since we were making good time, we decided to press on from Komotini (our originally planned stop) and stop at Xanthi for the day. This would make the next day to Kavala that much easier. As well, since it had turned sunny, who knows what it will be like tomorrow… We took a beautiful secondary highway for the last 40kms to Xanthi, which was elevated along the foothills and it gave us sweeping views of the plains below. One of things that was interesting to see was all of the Turkish towns in this part of Greece. I would have
thought there would be few Turks left in Greece after all that has happened in this region over the past century.
We are having problems with dogs in Greece. I vaguely remember this as a problem on my last trip to Greece 20 years ago. They wonder the streets with impunity. This may be part of the reason why they are so aggressive. We never have this problem in Asia, where they eat half the dogs!
Xanthi is a university town with a beautiful old town. We got in early enough to get around town to take some nice pictures.
The next day was again cold, but we pressed on to Kavala, which was on the coast. Unfortunately, we got caught in the rain with 15kms left. I hate riding with all of my rain gear on… It was a short day, though, at only 56km, so it wasn’t too bad. Kavala seems like it is pretty touristy with its nice beaches and historical sites. It has a large Byzantine fortress around its old town, but its historical part of town wasn’t as nice as in Xanthi. It rained on and off for the rest of the
Our day off would be spent travelling four hours to and fours back from Shauna’s grandparents home village of Agia Sotria. Racing down the freeways at 130kmh was most of the excitement. Some of the cars had to have been going 160kmh plus. The village was way up in the mountains and because of the cloud cover we unfortunately didn’t get much for views.
When we arrived at the village, a couple of the local people greeted us. One of them was distantly related to Shauna. Her name was Morphia. She knew some of Shauna’s relatives in Canada. Morphia might be 75 years old, but she is a long way from slowing down. She was able to move up and down the hills with relative ease. We even met a 92 year old man that was doing the same thing, but a bit slower and with a cane. The architecture of the buildings was very unique and the rocks used made these buildings look real solid. Shauna was able to see her grandparents home and great-grandparents grave.
I can’t believe how much feta the Greeks eat. Our Greek salads have a slab of feta so large
This is how the Byzantines use to move water around.
that it nearly covers the salad - no exaggeration on that one. One problem we have had a restaurants in smoking. If we can eat outside, it isn’t much of a problem, but inside we just can seem to get away from it. I just can’t believe why so many well educated people would smoke…
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