January 28, 2011
Ever heard the saying “what a difference a day makes”? Well, here in Kalambaka that difference is shown up in hours, not days. After heading to bed with clear skies and the prospect of another clear day, we awoke to find dull, grey skies and heavy rain. This put a dampener, literally, on our plans for the day as we weren’t going to be able to trek out to some of the monasteries in this horrible weather and we certainly wouldn’t be getting any more great views. For me, at least, the views from the monasteries and of the buildings themselves were much more impressive than the interiors so I was hoping for more time outside to take more pictures. Given we weren’t going to be able to do this without getting soaked we decided to have breakfast and pack up and get on the road. In hindsight, this was a good choice!
Almost as soon as we left Kalambaka we climbed back into the mountains and were met by snow. The increase in altitude had meant what was rain in the town was now snow higher up. Not only this, it had obviously being snowing almost all night as the ground was covered in a good few inches of the white fluffy stuff. Of course, this made driving a bit more difficult as the roads were steep and windy and covered in snow, ice and slush now as well as gravel. It wasn’t easy driving but it was quite good fun driving through the mountains and it was amazing how so many times we turned a bend and the conditions changed. One minute we had snow and white surroundings and the next it was just a bit of drizzle and green fields before reverting back to the former again! It was like four seasons in one day – assuming “summer” is your typical English summer where the sun shines for five minutes and then you get three months of rain!
We were soon nearing the coast and back towards Korinos to recover my passport before taking a turn south and heading through Paralia and onto Litohoro. We stopped in Paralia to find an ATM and while we stopped we decided to look for somewhere to get lunch. We found a fast food grill café and there we got a burger for me and gyros for Elizabeth. Mine wasn’t exactly Greek but Elizabeth was sticking with it! The drive to Litohoro wasn’t too much further from Paralia and we soon found our hotel right off the highway. The hotel was right on the beach but with views of Mt Olympus. Of course, with the foul weather we weren’t interested in a stroll on the beach and we couldn’t see Mt Olympus through the clouds. Given the main reason we came here was to see Mt Olympus we were glad we’d had good weather when we’d stayed at Korinos and got to see it from there, even though we know didn’t see the point in driving up it!
For dinner we had some bread and honey that we had leftover in our food stores! We were quite isolated where we were staying and I didn’t fancy driving any further so we made the most of what we had… and had the last of our wine, too!