18 de febrero de 2011

Greece. Meteora and Thessaloniki. Day 65

 Day 65:

We woke up at 9:30 in that guest house in Kastraki (a village beside Kalampaka), and the first thing we did was look for a place where we could eat something. Hard job on a Sunday morning. Having had a Greek breakfast (Feta cheese), we were ready to drive through Meteora huge rocks. 

The Great Meteoron
2 climbers here...
The day was cloudy, but that didn’t prevent us to enjoy the place. We drove up and down following the serpentine road that pass near every monastery. We visited two of them, going upstairs for a while (altough our legs didn’t like the idea). Monastery of the Holy Trinity was the first one, and we finished with The Great Meteoron, which is the biggest. It has 2 or 3 small museums, a dark church, an old kitchen, a cellar... and of course, impressive views, because it’s erected in one of the highest points. There were people climbing one of the enormous walls in front of us.

Kalampaka is -literally- under the rocks

Meteora monasteries were built around 12th-15th centuries, and some of them are situated more than 500 m. above the plain, on ancient rocks. This place is unique in the world. It’s hard to believe that there are a few monks still living here, but it’s true... 

The day was getting better and the sun appeared for a while -maybe a gift from the Gods, whom wanted to reward us for our effort the previous day-. We climbed a prominent rock, from where we could take some nice photos. We stayed there for almost an hour enjoying the relaxing silence, only disturbed from time to time by some car horn from Kalampaka, just below us. 

Views from a petrol-station in Kalampaka. Holy Monastery of St. Stephen on the right side.

H.Monastery of Varlaam
Back in the village, we ate something and started our returning trip to Thessaloniki (250 km), where we arrived around 21:00. The city is quite lively and busy. Hundreds of people are walking in the streets and filling up the pubs. Unlike northern countries' lifestyle (Bulgaria is an example), here we had something similar to Spanish culture. We rented a room for four in Alexandria Hotel (cheap, around 14 € per person). 

Marcos & Josemi
Once showered, we went out to look for some party. Ronnie cheered on the group with some street-beers. We walked through the city centre, beer in hand. We stopped in a club called Rocanrollar (similar name to Sophia’s one), and they tried to rip off us with a crazy price for 3 beers and a whisky. After showing our deep disagreement, the club’s owner came and he “negotiated” until we were happy. So crafty. After that, we decided to do something weird like walk to the upper side of a building under construction. Nice views over the city from there, and crazy conversation about Christmas and Cosmos! And we tought “Ok, we are in bastard-spanish mode now… let’s go until the end: botellón!”. We did something similar just beside a Rock-pub, with nice music like Rage Against The Machine and Pearl Jam

The team. Exploring Thessaloniki!

Latin Lovers
A dog came with us the rest of the night, he wanted friends and we were receptive. But after a long walk, we found ourselves in the industrial harbour of the city, and (surprisingly) there was a noisy night-club in the middle of tens of warehouses. “Fuck, what is this??”, Ronnie was excited. The club was absolutely full of people, dancing and partying hard. Very nice. We didn’t expect that around 3 AM on Sunday to Monday. Beers cost 7 € each one. Not so nice, but we paid several, anyway. Sergeant Téllez (Adri) showed a good sample of Spanish talent in the disco, but unfortunately greek females were on guard that night. Back in the hotel around 6 AM, with the army slightly injured. Our intention hadn’t been that! Thessaloniki has more party than we had expected. And Ronnie is a very encouraging comrade!! Fucking horse!!