Blogs from Thessaly, Greece, Europe


Europe » Greece » Thessaly » Meteora July 7th 2019

"There's one!" I'm bursting with excitement. "There's another one," I exclaim as we approach the 'Stone Forest,' dozens of vertical rocks, each as tall as a small mountain. As we get closer, I can begin to make out the Orthodox monasteries atop several of these pinnacles. From photos I thought there were maybe 3 or 4 of these, but I later discover that 24 were built, some of them inside caves. Hermits started moving into the caves in the 9th century, and in the 1300's the first formal monastery was built. Allan's tired from the drive and it's hot from the African winds blowing north--44C/118F, so he lies down for a nap. I take the car from our hotel in Kalambaka, and drive to the top of the road--a couple of the monasteries are reachable this ... read more
Up close and personal
Time for a Climb
In the Distance

Europe » Greece » Thessaly » Kalampaka September 18th 2018

Kalitheea- o nume ce iti ramane in minte daca stai mai multe zile in zona aia insorita in extra/sezon. Apa cristalina, culori de turcoaz, cocktail pe plaja, umbreluta cu cocktail inclus sau invers, paradis ce mai...Cazati hotel Maria, pret 45 euro, camera spatioasa, curata, TV plasma, hotel cu piscina unde evident am testat-o.... read more
interior camera
panorama balcon

Europe » Greece » Thessaly » Kalampaka September 15th 2018

Serres. Mica localitate, retrasa si linistita aproape de granita cu Bulgaria. Loc bun de popas. Am ales Hotelul Metropolis, camera la 50euro, camera spatioasa, de fapt apartament, curat, vedere, minibar plin, AC, TV plasma.... read more
interior camera
vedere balcon camera

Europe » Greece » Thessaly » Kalambaka July 12th 2017

July 12 Wednesday Early departure so up at 5 am. I had to wash my hair this morning because it was all whacked out. This hotels version of the hairdryer reminds me of just a tube blowing air at the end. Most of the hotels have regular hairdryer. However, you have to hold the button constantly to keep it going. Typical breakfast: runny eggs, lots of cheeses and deli meat, fruits, and assorted breads. We left the hotel at 7:15 am and headed for the Bulgarian-Greece border. This time I get the whole back row to myself (or so I thought). We rotate every two seats in a clockwise fashion. This is the 2nd time around. I had to skip the back row of 5 seats during the first rotation. So now I can go from ... read more
Hotel Anel (2)
Hotel Anel (3)
Hotel Anel (4)

Europe » Greece » Thessaly June 3rd 2017

26th to 29thMay Kato Gatzea near Volos It’s back to the coast and a lovely campsite called Sikia run by two sisters. The campsite is busy, partly due to a big group of cloggies. We were offered a tiny patch with a view of the sea but opted instead for a more spacious pitch with a view of the sea if you crane your head to the right. Behind us is the Pelian, a mountain range that has a small ski resort at the summit. There is a network of cobbled paths that link the hillside villages with each other and the coast. After buying a map we planned a couple of days walking but first we decided to cycle along the coast. We passed through the lovely seaside villages of Kala Nera where we stopped ... read more
Cycling into Koropi
A nice wide cobbled path
The Pelion Railway

Europe » Greece » Thessaly » Kalambaka May 26th 2017

Monday 22ndMay Cycling Tour of Meteora We travelled up to Kastraki yesterday through stunning mountains and across wide plains. In the mountains, the overriding colour is the yellow of the blooming broom trees, their flowers scenting the air. Kastraki is a small village in the Meteora area and sits at the base of huge pillars of rock. It is truly like scenery from some fantasy film. The huge rock monoliths appear initially to be smooth rock faces but as you get closer you see that they have indents and grooves that have been shaped over thousands of years. We ate in the campsite restaurant (very delicious) as the shops don’t open on a Sunday. Today we headed to the big town of Kalambaka to the supermarket to stock up. After lunch we went for a cycle ... read more
Monastary in Meteora
Rock pillars
Another monastary

Europe » Greece » Thessaly » Kalambaka August 19th 2016

As I left Corfu, I did something I've rarely done on this trip, which was not booking anywhere to stay at my next destination. This was because I had no idea whether I'd even make it to my next destination that day; Meteora. Basically I had no idea what the bus connections were and therefore how far I could get; but the hostels in the towns around Meteora seemed to have plenty of room so if I managed to get there, then I knew I'd probably be alright. With the ferry dropping me off in Igoumenitsa, I knew that I'd be able to then get to Ioannina but with only two daily buses onwards from Ioannina to Meteora, I wasn't sure if I'd make the last connecting bus and end up being stuck in Ioannina. In ... read more
Courtyard Inside Gran Meteora

Europe » Greece » Thessaly June 22nd 2016

As promised... the food My time in Narthaki has come to an end and I have returned to Athens where the people once again greatly outnumber the animals. I will really miss Narthaki; its people, landscape, and history made me feel at home in the “real” Greece. I recognize and appreciate that countries are made up of smaller villages and larger, more touristy cities like Athens, but I always feel like I am getting the more authentic experience of a country when I stay and live in a smaller village. This was similar to my time in Gravina in Puglia (Italy), or when I go to smaller villages in parts of the United States. Each culture is beautiful and unique in both types of places, but I find major cities have been adapted or conditioned by ... read more
The Feast at the Official's Home
Dinner at Zorba's

Europe » Greece » Thessaly June 11th 2016

Sunday, the day of rest and recovery... Especially for the Narthaki people and their landscape. Just 24 hours prior this village was exposed to an incredible display of Mother Nature’s power as torrential downpour flooded fields and made currented rivers out of side streets. As we drove past evidence of the devastation today, it reminded me of how dependent communities like this are on the natural landscape and how quickly each aspect of the space can change. One of my favourite aspects of this place is how vivid the landscape is, and how incredibly grounded within Thessalian livelihood each aspect has become. Driving throughout Thessaly I was initially struck by the glowing golden fields of wheat, straw, and barley, in their varying stages of growth and development. The barley grown near Narthaki is specifically used to ... read more
The Local Neighbours
An Economy of Gold
The Long Road Home

Europe » Greece » Thessaly June 11th 2016

We are at least three weeks into this lab season... Three weeks has equated to quite a number of things. A full human analysis from a grave at our main site. An informal lecture on the findings of this analysis for our crew. A formal lecture on these findings to the students. And then a very formal lecture on the findings, in Greek, at a public engagement event in Farsala ( I have reviewed over 1200 bags of previously-analysed animal bone: recording basic findings, comparing spatial diagnostics, and removing tooth samples for my study. I have started conducting my own analysis on over 1000 animal bone fragments (to date) from the second site, half of which required duplicate analyses when my hard-drive crashed (lesson learned on backing up fi... read more
An example of fragmented remains
Museum examples of processed bone
Visual Representation of Animals in the Area

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