Saturday, November 20, 2004

Greece Part II

Well, I got over being homesick and took full advantage of the opportunity of havng ocean around me. Saturday night we all went to the only disco in town, which was creatively named DISCO, and took over the place. Literally. We were taking pictures of random people's birthday parties, having drinks with the owner, doorman, bartender, locals... whatever... having a blast. Suddenly at 2:30 there was a mass exodus to the door, and we were left standing there, just the four of us and the staff. We asked the DJ to play a Donna Summer song for us, for who can go to a place called DISCO without hearing "Last Dance" as you're ushered out the door? They didn't play just one song... oh no... we got a full set and had a 4 man dance competition to see who had the cheesiest moves. Take a look at the pics, and you can be the judge. :D When we finally left the club, the rain had stopped, the wind was calm, and it seemed warm enough for a little moonlight skinny dip. HEAVEN. Phil was a bit chicken, and stayed behind to guard our clothes as Jess, Travis and I made straight for the water. It felt so good to swim in the ocean! I'm not quite sure what the hotel owners thought of us all trapsing in at 3:30 in the morning dripping wet. They did give us their private number to call when we were coming back, so we must not have made that bad of an impression. Anyway, there's no pics of that event, sorry kids.

The next morning we got up and headed out to a new destination. While we were shopping for souvenirs in Paralia we saw this postcard of a place called Meteora, with clifftop monasteries. It turned out it was less than 2 hours away, so we packed up and headed out. We made the decision to stop in Dion along the way to see some ancient Greek ruins. But alas our plans were thwarted. We made it to Dion, but as I stepped out of the car, I managed to plop my flip-flop clad feet into a huge patch of stinging nettle, and my feet were instantly covered in blisters and felt like I had stuck them into a pile of burning coals. We made for the nearest cafe to beg for help for my poor little toesies. After much gesturing and groaning someone finally figured out what was going on and scurried off to find help. I took two steps in the same direction, and learned that rain, marble steps and flip-flops don't mix. My feet went out from under me and I fell on my ass down the stairs and into a puddle. The day was not going well. However, within a couple of minutes, the man who had scurried off came back with a cotton ball with some magic poition on it, swabbed my feet, and they instantly stopped burning. Thank god! I wanted to die up until that moment. After that, we asked how far it was to the ruins - 500 meters, and we couldn't drive there. We gave up on Dion, and carried on, ruins be damned.

It was soooooo worth it. It rained the whole way to Meteora, but just as we were getting close, the clouds broke for a moment, and the most amazing rainbow I've ever seen appeared. It was full spectrum, and we could see it from end to end, it looked like it was touching the ground right next to us. Incredible. My picture doesn't do it justice, I couldn't even get a 1/4 of it in the shot. As we were driving up to Meteora, the landscape just got prettier and prettier. Out of the plains sprang giant cliffs, and unbelievable rock formations (made me wish I had my climbing shoes wit me). The postcards just didn't deliver half of what we saw. I was stunned by this place. On the tops of these giant rocks 14-15th century monasteries were perched. We drove up to the top and hike up to one, but it was closed for the day. We spent some time driving around to the different monasteries, determining whihch one's we would come back to the next morning, then headed down the mountain about halfway to a little bed and breakfast. The view from this place was stunning - see sunrise pics from my balcony... This place was family owned and run, and dinner was prepared by the owners mother. If you ever had a picture inyour head of what an old Greek woman would look like, she would be it! The owner himself, who we nicknamed "Zorba", was a nutcase. Very kind to us, but also very opinionated. He made us promise about 50 times to write to Let's Go and Lonely Planet to tell them about his hotel. Of course we will!! We got up early the next morning, picked three monasteries (I would attempt to describe it, but there's just no way.. see the photos), did our little tour, and then made the drive from hell back to Prishtina. Definitely one of the best weekends I've ever had in my entire life. I am so lucky to be doing all of this.

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