A Winter Roadtrip to Northern Greece (pt. 2) There and back again

N ext morning started with a glorious sun, lighting the fresh white snow. In front of the equally glorious breakfast buffet, we contemplated on the plans of the day, until someone mentioned that we could go to Vassilitsa and have fun at the ski center there. Noone argued the proposal and it didnt take long to be on the road again.

While Vassilitsa was not far away from where we were staying, it took us quite some time to get there. No, the road was not blocked, nor it was a difficult route. It was just that the scenery that was surrounding us in every turn we made was so spectacular, that we had to stop for photos every couple of kilometers.

It was one of those routes that you just wish it never finishes. The trees covered with snow seemed as figures from fairy tales and the fresh snow that was sparkling because of the sun was making everything look as someone has sprayed stardust around. I felt grateful and happy.

We eventually arrived at the ski center. Because of bad knees, I could only just watch the others trying to ski or snowboard and I participated in the whole fun by either photographing or having fun with the kids. Also having a hot coffee at the sun just outside the chalet was magnificent by its own!

To be honest, I am not really a jealous person. But that day, I felt just a little bit of envy to all those people sliding down the slopes. I started looking at the medical reports in my smartphone. Ski was out of the question, as a great number of injuries revolve around knees. But snowboard… this seemed interesting as most injuries were not related to knees but other joints. Rejoice! I was just a step away from renting snowboarding equipment and finding someone to show me how to use it. Then, I just realised that I should better come to my senses and make sure I could leave the ski center walking rather than on a carriage to the nearest hospital…

Vassilitsa marked our last stop in the area. Next day, we would move south towards Kanalia, near Karditsa. On our way, though, we would pass through Meteora. Only once before in my life have I visited this majestic land. But that was summer and now it was winter and snow was on the top of the unearthly rocks that form this natural wonder.

Meteora is one of those places that you have to see to believe it exists. It seems as if the God(s) have playing around in the skies above and some rocks have fallen to the earth in this place. Out of place, out of normal order, divine.

Trikala was our next stop for a coffee.

We arrived at Kanalia after it was dark. After we settled at the house, it was time for tsipouro to contemplate about what we had seen and experienced during the previous days.

Next morning marked the end of the sunny days. The rain was falling heavily, the temperature was around zero and the fog had covered everything. Our friends were busy with some housekeeping and stuff like that, so we got the car with Matina to go around the area and visit lake Plastira in this gloomy weather.

The images around us were astonishing. But the weather kept us in the car as it was next to impossible to go out. Following Frantzeska’s tips we found the bakery with the most amazing pies and got quite a few of them. We decided to use the car as our table with a view and found the perfect place to park and enjoy our coffee and pies.

The road took us near the dam of lake Plastira. The rain hadn’t stopped for a moment, but I just needed to take one last photo, as a way to say goodbye.

When we got back, we loaded all our stuff to the car and started our way back to Athens. On the highway, I was silent. This sweet melancholy after you have completed something really wonderful, was taking me over. I was happy.

Andreas
Northern / Central Greece, 2015/16.

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