Central Italy North Greece
Part 4: North Greece
I'm leaving one more good friend behind at Pesaro (thank you Steve!) and make it to Ancona to catch the ferry back to Greece. My time in Italy ends as the ferry turns its back to Ancona's port but my time with friends is not over yet. The plan is to make it to Kastoria which is the meeting point with my Aussie friends Pat and Bin as they kindly and gladly deviate on their way from Montenegro to Romania in order to spendsome days together around North Greece. Yes, both on their bike too.
The next chilly October morning offers me the following cloudy sunrise at the first sight of Greek soil North West of Igoumenitsa's port:
I decide to take the fast toll road from Igoumenitsa to Kastoria being strictly loyal on my appointments though I rarely do so in my trips as these roads are boring in their vast majority. However, the A2 is an impressive piece of engineering, the longest one in Greece (670km) crossing the whole North of the country. It's really like a string of bridges and tunnels through those countless mountains on its way and it's almost as scenic as a toll road can be. I ride relatively fast and I eat those couple of hundred km to Kastoria faster than I expected which gives me time to kill around this beautiful town, well known for its lake that sometimes freezes on a heavy winter:
I take my bike to another parking lot closer to the water and the town's center to enjoy the sun and the view:
Fortunately my dear Aussies are as loyal to their appointments as I am so it doesn't take long to meet them, fresh coming from another lake, Ohrid. Priceless to meet beloved ones when it's been a while and we all ride around the town in search of a place to stay. Off season helps us to find a good value for money by the lake and yes, we can't complain about the balcony view:
First walk around the town doesn't bring many fruits except the obvious beauty of the lake. The intense financial crisis (back in the day) is challenging the local economy. We grab a few beers and some fruits to enjoy at the balcony which next day offers me a nice panorama of the lake's water reflecting the first rays of the sun:
A tripod offers us this hug shot:
Yep, Pat is the mountain Everest as you see.
We go out for a walk on this lovely day and just a few steps out of the door I capture one more moment for my "nature never ceases to impress" folder: