After resting our legs in Kastoria we pedaled south towards Grevena. The scenery quickly changed from mountains to rolling hills. It reminded us a bit of Iowa. In the evening the mountains returned and we peddled up a 5km uphill and slept on a mountain top next to an old war bunker under the stars. The next day we drove into Grevena and bought some supplies before heading east towards mount Olympus on the Greek east coast. On our way we met a French couple at coffee bar. They had been cycling from Kirgistan and was soon home from their 4 months long trip. A lot of French cyclists on the roads in Balkan. We slept halfway up a hill, overlooking mount Olympus in the east and a beautiful sunset over the hills in west.
The following morning we had a giant breakfast with toasts, eggs, coffee and juice in Mikro Eleftherochori before our climb across some mountains just south of mount Olympus began. It took us until 4pm to reach the other side of the mountains, but it was a beautiful ride and on the other side waited a welcoming reward – gyros lunch and a dip in the ocean. After some rest on the beach we followed a flat narrow road through sunflower fields that took us to Stomio and a camping spot filled with Greek campers who spend their hole summers there. After some more gyros, snacks and a few episodes of the series Community we fell asleep, this time in our tents.
The next day we went for a morning swim and then cycled along the ocean for 30-40 km before crossing the mountains once again, back into the inland. This time was easier, but it still took us 3-4 hours to make it. In the beginning of the ascent we stopped for a Greek salad at a restaurant with great view over the ocean from their balcony. After crossing the mountains we cycled along corn fields until we stopped at a gas station to ask for a place to set camp. The owner recommended the soccer field close by, so we went there and talked to some guys having a late night soccer practice. They had no problem with us sleeping there, and even let the showers, toilets and locker rooms stay unlocked so we could use the facilities. We slept on the field and fell asleep to the sound of barking dogs, as so many times before.
The road south continued and we found our way down to Glifa by lunch. Glifa is a port with ferries running to Egiokampos. The ferry took 30 minutes and then we cycled along the coast for 30km before reaching a camping spot. Halfway there Christian got stung by a big hornet/wasp on his ankle. It hurt petty badly and he had to lay down for a bit before he could continue cycling. When we reached the camping we realized it was super expensive and the WiFi was broken, but we were to tired to continue biking, so we checked in, had some dinner and fell asleep under the stars.
The next day was filled with mountains and French bikers. We knew our way to the city of Chalkida would be hilly, so we were prepared to peddle hard that day. After less than one hour of cycling we met three young French guys who had been cycling from Italy and was also going to Athens. We hung out with them for a bit but said goodbye when we were approaching Chalkida. They were gonna camp just outside the city and take an early train the following morning into Athens. We needed WiFi so we went into the central parts where we found a cafe with friendly staff and free WiFi. In the city Christian found a pharmacy that told him he needed antibiotics and that he should keep his ankle out of the sun. We then decided to sleep in Chalkida and do as the French, take the morning train into Athens. We also booked a hotel on the island Aegina for a few days retreat after reaching Athens.
That night we slept on some park benches by the beach walk in the central parts of Chalkida. Next to the beach walk was also a Dominos pizza store that we visited for dinner. At 5am we left our benches and biked to the train station. After 90 minutes on the train we were finally in Athens! 1700km of biking and 100km of train riding! We celebrated with a coffee (it was only 7am), and then checked into a nearby hostel, borrowed their bed sheets, and went to Acropolis and took some pictures in toga outfits. After that we went to Mcdonalds for lunch. Leaving the restaurant an hour later we realized Christians phone was gone. We searched for it for a while but then realised it was stolen and gone forever. Christian then went back to the hostel to change passwords on all his accounts and so on. Christofer and Jonas spent the rest of the day packing their bikes into cardboard boxes. In the evening we went for dinner with a friend of a friend, called Tasos, and a friend of his. We came back to the hostel at 2am, exhausted from a long day.
The following day we left our bikes and most of our belongings on the hostel and jumped on a boat that took us to our hotel on the island Aegina, where we are now, relaxing and reading books by the pool. We will stay for three more days before returning to Athens where we’ll spend two nights before flying back home on friday morning.
Now it’s time to return the sunbed. We all have the caracterstic cycling-tan (super brown arms and legs but pale torsos and backs), that we need to even out! 🙂
During this trip we have had problems to transfer pictures from our cameras to a computer, but don’t worry, more pics and videos will be published as soon as we get home!
Vilken härlig resa ni gjort!!! Dock lite tråkigheter, men det kunde varit värre! Ha en bra vecka i Grekland!!!
Vilka äventyr….stor beundran för ert mod och uthållighet…väntar med spänning på nästa resa…..
Kram Liisa och pappa Johan