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Published: June 20th 2008
Vergina - theatre
Ashley near the theatre in the storm. The theatre was behind a wire fence
On Greek roads.
Arrived in Vergina, tomorrow we do the tourist stuff, the tomb of Phillip. More on this later, from Hilary.
Greek roads. The Greeks seem to build roadside shrines at places people get killed in accidents, so it goes without saying that Shrines per Kilometer is a good indication of how dangerous the road is. After Vergina we head for Igoumenitsa, maybe in one day, maybe two. The Greeks are building an EU standard highway between Thessalonika and Igoumenitsa, but it is only complete in places, credit where due, the terrain is not easy. Anyway on EU standard highways there are far less Shrines per Kilometer than on the regular roads. Every now and then (and we have no idea where) the motorway is going to stop and the road become narrow, one lane each way, over mountains, with the Greeks not wanting to slow down. The scenery is going to be spectacular, good for Hilary, I'll be concentrating on mountain hairpins, crazy drivers, and the like.
SpK is what I need to watch for.
The original plan today was to stay in Veriea. We went there but it was hot and it was vile.
Ashley discovered some fine Albanian lager
One chap decided to stop his car where it blocked us from unparking then, when we got around him, he moved his stupid car to block us again. And it was insanely hot. The tourist information people were amazingly helpful and pleasant. They gave us maps and books in German (my German is adequate to get some sense from these, if only the gist). They were helpful. We decided to come to Vergina. Which is kind of the back of beyond with interesting ruins. This is ancient Aigai - the capital of Macedon before they moved it to Pella and the place where Philip was assassinated. It has been hot today, well over 30 degrees, but it counts as 'winter' in terms of site opening hours so everything closes at 15:00. The village caters mostly for day trips so eating opportunities have been somewhat limited. The souvlaki at lunch was excellent. Souvlaki at dinner was adequate...
We are staying at the hotel Aigai. The rooms are named for the Successors of Alexander. It's comfortable and we have a big balcony. From which we watched a storm approach this afternoon, though it didn't hit here and we had to go
Ashley is not interested in the football
up towards the ancient theatre to see any lightening. They are saying that this extreme heat should end after tommorow and that is probably good as long as it doesn't rain.
I like being in the back of beyond despite the lack of food and entertainment options. I can hear traditional live folk music from the restaurant packed with locals watching the football (Greece are playing Spain in the Eurothingy tonight). I can hear cocks crowing and dogs barking. I can see the lights of Veriea about 20 klicks distant and that is fine by me.
We went to see the tombs. Very interesting. They've made good use of the space to display the finds alongside the cavities of the tombs so it is both educational and atmospheric. There is clearly a lot more here but apart from one other tomb (of which not much can be seen) it's fenced off and not open and being worked upon by archaeologists.
I think it really brought home to me how ambitious the Macedonians were at that time.
Later we went exploring and discovered some kind of nature park complete with waterfalls and shade and BBQ places. In
This is the nature park we discovered.
the evening we found it was possible to eat something other than souvlaki. We had 'shef salad' which turned out to be mostly mushrooms and peppers cooked in a terracotta pot with lots of cheese. It was delicious and I shall have to work out how to recreate it at hoe. We have already discussed which cheeses might be good substitutes. We also had some good tzaziki and a pork steak.
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