As soon as we arrive, we feel the need to rest after the tumult of Istanbul… so we land on the seaside, in Alexandroupoli, at the Santa Rosa camping hotel on the good plans of an Ioverlander. The welcome is warm and invites us to stay two nights in order to update the photos, the blog and above all to trace the rest of the route. The weather letting us go a little, we take advantage of the Lidl not far to find culinary pleasures that have missed. What could be better than a good clap (even industrial!) and a little Greek wine to warm our hearts despite a very gray sky! Before reaching a small fishing port for a sublime bivouac in Stavros and the second largest Greek city Thessaloniki, there is a very modern laundromat (a great joy to wash your clothes in a machine!). Again we are welcomed very warmly by the owner of the place with whom we take pleasure in exchanging. In Greece, and we will see it throughout our stay, it is easy to find someone who speaks English or makes the effort to communicate with you. And what will seduce us in addition to the beauty of its landscapes is the kindness and benevolence of its people towards its tourists.
As autumn is on its way and our route is to go up through Bulgaria and Romania, we are concentrating our discoveries on the essential sites recommended by the Routard guide. So the next stop is the ancient site of Delphi. Delphi is a Panhellenic sanctuary located at the foot of Mount Parnassus which houses the Omphalos, the navel of the world! To visit the site, we narrowly pass between the heavy showers and thus take advantage of its museum whose explanations are in French. The landscapes and the view from the theater and the stadium now restored are truly breathtaking! In short, we take full advantage of it while discovering that Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe.
As the motorways are quite expensive for motorhomes which pass into category three when the height is above 2.20 m, we decide to take the national ones! Direction Athens observing the harvest of the cotton fields. Upon our arrival, we reach a good bivouac plan Ioverlander located 10 minutes walk from the Acropolis. And we are going to survey this beautiful capital using the rubber of our boots! It will be about fifty kilometers on foot to admire the Acropolis from several angles of view, to discover the small alleys and the pretty shops of the Plaka district, to look for the famous graffiti of the various demonstrations which have shaken up the country in recent years and to meet Greeks always so welcoming and benevolent with the tourist. A big crush on this city and I hope to be able to come back to explore it.
Always motivated to follow our program, we reach the site of Epidaurus and therefore the Peloponnese region via the Corinth Canal. The theater of Epidaurus is really magnificent but having visited many ancient sites in Turkey, which also seem more interesting to us if you are passionate about this period of history, we decided after this visit to review our route. Visits to Mycenae and Olympus are thus cancelled. And then we admit it, the sweetness of life offered by Greece strongly commits us to laziness!
So when leaving the site of Epidaurus, we choose to let ourselves be led to improvisation and we will be delighted with this choice! We randomly reach the peninsula of Methana, endowed with hot springs. We learn about it when we arrive and so it will be swimming, shells and…meetings with French camtars! This is how we discover with Yvette and Francis de Rouen the Volcano whose last eruption dating from 823 BC left impressive traces of lava flows extending to the sea. In the evening we will have dinner with them and Christine and Dominique from Annecy in a nice little tavern where the owner takes you to the kitchen to select the dish you want to taste! A beautiful evening to remake the world and the pleasure of exchanging between French Greek specialties accompanied by Ouzo:)
The day after these beautiful encounters, we think of leaving Methana but we choose to test the hot springs bath which would be radioactive! We therefore follow the advice of the regulars, no more than 20 minutes to blow bubbles and we meet Henriette and Roland de Chambéry. From one aperitif to another, we escape to tell our respective adventures and enjoy living the present moment. And this is, I believe, the best way to discover this country!