After we’d conquered the mighty Mount Olympus, or it conquered us depending on which of my muscle groups you asked, we’d planned to head to Thessaloniki. No big reason, it wasn’t the weather to go exploring any nearby beaches on pretty peninsulas. So we figured fuck it, why not just stay in Kalambaka? We prefer small towns to big cities, it’s gorgeous here with the towering rocks of Meteroa, and we can get a gyros for €2.50. We stayed so long I had a favourite rock.
After our mountain shenanigans we were walking like we’d shat ourselves but we managed to get some chores done including sending a box of souvenirs we’d accumulated home along with our camping gear. That freed up a fuck tonne of space in our bags which we’ll likely fill with more souvenirs. Then we mostly just chilled. On the Sunday we caught a train to Athens, and I do like trains over buses in account of the toilet. I could drink Red Bull with impunity and not have to worry about pissing myself.
But Greece though, guys. What the actual fuck?! We came for the history and we got so much more. It didn’t occur to me that the country was so mountainous with vast swathes of scrubland and olive groves breaking up the landscape. With great mountains comes great eyehole fodder (unless it’s raining) and we drank it in as we meandered through.
The island hopping was great. We loved Tinos and the village hopping. Naxos was an absolute highlight too, my only regret there is renting a scooter rather than a car but I wasn’t ready to brave changing gears with my right hand just then. Now I’m a driving on the right pro I’d definitely get a more substantial vehicle to explore the island with. One that you could trust to get you around a hairpin bend and remain upright.
The Peloponnese though. That’s a whole trip in itself and I feel like we only scratched the surface. I’d like to go back one day and hike the Melanon Trail, and maybe spend longer seeing more of the coast. It blew us away really, it’s pretty much got everything you could want, assuming what you want is mountains, beaches, ancient sites, waterfalls and many kittens to make squee noises over.
I feel like there’s a metric fuck tonne of Greece still to see but I’m really happy with everything we’ve done so far. Will we come back? I’m not sure given that there’s a lot more of Europe just waiting to be inserted into our eyeholes. Though at this stage I wouldn’t rule out a special trip just to apply more gyros liberally to my facehole.
Greece / Ελλάδα
I forgot to take a photo of Holy Rock Hostel but it’s definitely one of the best hostels we’ve stayed at. 100% recommend.
Useful shit to know…
- There’s a direct train to Athens from Kalambaka in the evening but it doesn’t get there until late. Usually you’ll change at Palaeofarsalos. It’s the same if you’re going to Thessaloniki, you’ll need to change at Palaeofarsalos.
- The ticket office at Kalambaka opens at 9am and they’ll sell you a ticket up until ten minutes before the train is due to depart.
- We took the 9.30 train. The platform is the one by the ticket office.
- We were directed to platform 3 for Athens. People for Thessaloniki went to platform 4.
- Getting to Athens Airport is a piece of piss. We took the bus and allowed an hour.
- You can catch the X95 from Syntagma Square, there’s a ticket office at 37.974893, 23.735127 and the bus leaves from there.
- It cost €5.50 each one way.
- You can take the Metro all the way there too, you’ll need Line 3, the Blue Line.
- You need a special ticket for that and you’ll see it on the travel products screen as Athens & Airport. Something like that anyway. I think it’s around €9.