Sunday, April 11, 2010


tuesday we left popi to get on another bus on our way towards the ferry. we stopped off in kalambaka. we really had no plan. no hostel reservation. just got on the bus and hoped for the best. we got off the bus and wondered through the streets with an address we found for a cheap hostel on the internet the night before. luckily there were more hotels along the main road we saw from the bus than we had expected. just in case. it wasn't as small as we thought, but a little more touristy. it was a weird feeling walking into the hostel with no reservations and having walked blindly with the possibility of having to turn back. but there was hope b/c there were rooms available according to the internet the night before....but of course...there were no rooms. ha. the lady took us next door to elena's guest house though and the young girl said they had 1 room available. a phone call to the owner later and we agreed to pay 50 euro in cash for the room - the "cheap" hostel next door was 24 euro each - and this room was palatial - jet stream shower, korres body products, a huge bed, a balcony, a fire place....we were offered cinnamon-tasting liquor and sesame seed sweets. we were spoiled. definitely not roughing it! and after only paying for the overnight ferry and hostel in rimini and then 7 nights for free...i think we could afford to splurge.

with our map in hand, we went for a walk around the town. all above us and surrounding us were these huge rocks, meteora rocks, that protruded into the blue sky and were topped with monasteries built in the most impossible looking places. very impressive. they reminded me the rocks in arizona. the glove rock. we saw mountain goats scaling the steep sides - somehow not falling off - and some people climbing up completely flat, vertical surfaces. the monasteries were just far off sites in the heavens that we could not reach by foot before the sun went down, or so it seemed. an italian car pulled up with a family of 3 and offered us a ride with them. they were friendly, from basilicata and spoke english...kinda...well. at least they were very talkative, even if half of it was in italian. i could make out food words like burrata. they gave us a ride to the top of the rocks where we saw the most spectacular views. i can't explain these rocks.

can you see the monastery on top of the rocks?  

we tasted some local kalambaka wine, evans, which would make carlo petrini very proud! we ate at paramithi tavern - it was recommended and means "fairytale," which was good because we were starving but everyone there was speaking a different language. the english family sounded like harry potter with a whiney teenage daughter and all i could think of was the word "blasphemy" and then the german couple sitting behind us and in front of us and someone else asking for the toliet in english. and despite our gorgeous room, neither of us slept well so when the option arose in the morning to either catch the early bus to igoumenitsa or to spend the day with the italian family who were so kind to invite us, but then have to visit multiple monasteries, go to ionnina and hope to get to our ferry in igoumenitsa on time as well as being social speaking engliataliano was just too much. so, instead, we got the bus and sat outside in the sun for a couple hours with absolutely nothing to do. it was quite relaxing. arina bought some corona's to drink when the ferry landed in ancona, but we drank them at the mcdonald's of greece, goody's. so no coronas in ancona once again.

note to self: a 16 hour ferry might save some money on sleeping and transportation, but the novelty of it wears off the second time around. get a plane ticket. 
a four hour train ride, a confused-what-country-are-we-in-cafe-means-espresso-not-a-large-nescafe stop off in parma, a 40 minute bus ride where arina and i looked less foreign then everyone else and another what-country-are-we-in-look to each other and we're back in colorno. 

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