Greek Journal Part
Greek Journal: 5/13/2005-6/8/2005
àKalambaka (Meteora) àIguominitsaàCorfu
TownàCorfu TrailàIguominitsaàZorganian Villages,
Vikos Gorge and Mt.
6/2/2005: On the Corfu Trail, Corfu:
Today we decided to do some local
exploration by sea via paddle boat. We
peddled our boat about 2 miles out along a narrow peninsula that extends from Agios Georgios in to the
sea. Finally located an inviting
deserted beach and landed our craft.
After a refreshing swim hiked up a small sand hill behind to beach to
discover that the island was no more than 40 ft across at this point and there
was a matching sand beach on the other side.
There is a path from the mainland that runs the length of the peninsula
to a small cave church dedicated to Agios Stylianos the patron Saint of children.
Timoni Beach south side.
Timoni Beachs north and south (north on left and
south on right)
Even though we still had a couple of days left on the trek,
the extra days we had spent along the way due to my bum foot and just because
we wanted to, had eaten up enough time that if we wanted to do some more
traveling we had to leave Corfu. Our
original reason for coming to Greece
had been to hike the Pindos Horse Shoe in northern Greece, so we decided to hop the bus back to Corfu town and take the ferry back to the mainland in the
6/3/2005: Monodendri in the Zagorian region
of the Pindos Mountains, mainland Greece.
Hard to believe that this morning we were leisurely walking
about and shopping in Corfu town and now are in some of the most rugged and
unexplored mountains in Europe. After a leisurely breakfast and some shopping
in Corfu Town we caught the ferry to Iguomenitsa (1.5 hrs), rented a car and drove to Ionina and then north in to the Pindos
Traveling in to Pindos
Mountains you see an entirely different
side of Greece. We have been to the urbania
of Athens, appreciated the ancient ruins of the
Acropolis, hung out with the gods on Olympus, mellowed on the island life of Corfu and now we were heading in to a mountain range
which during WWII rivaled the Russian front for brutal winter weather and
surpassed any front for rugged terrain.
Our destination was the Zagorian
region which is known for both natural wonders and unique architecture. The architectural style has been preserved and
reproduced for hundreds of years and utilizes finely cut lime stone blocks
quarried from northern Greece
and Albania. The bridge work over the rivers is world
famous. Some of these bridges date back
1,000 years are still used in there original and unmodified form.
Triple bustressed Zagorian bridge
Me standing on top of the 700 year old Kokoros
bridge. No glue
and no cement
After a little wandering found our way to Monodendri, one of the hand full of Zagorian
Villages that are still inhabited. At
one time there were 48 villages scattered through this area of the Pindos. All of the
buildings were constructed in the same style from the same lime stone and to
this day all new construction is done in the same style with lime stone blocks
and slate roofs. We found a beautiful
lodge called the Zarkada Manor House that was located
in the center of town and only steps from the 5,300 ft drop in to the Vikos Gorge.
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