Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Towards Turkey - last day in Greece

What a night! There was a squadron of famished mosquitoes lurking in our room. They obviously hadn't had a feed since the last occupants left and they were on the rampage. The night was punctuated by the sound of us both slapping ourselves trying to kill the bastards, interspersed with swearing.

When morning finally came we breakfasted at a cafe 50 metres down the beach front and then rode west dodging on and off the freeway on to minor roads when we could. On our left we were following the Pangeo Mountains the highest peak of which is at 1956 metres.

Morning coffee stop at the town of Kavala on the waterfront of the port. A really nice town with a Byzantine Castle on the headland and an ancient stone aqueduct traversing part of the town. Would have been worth an overnight stop if the timing had been right.

Managed to avoid the freeway and keep to the minor roads though a mainly agricultural landscape but occasional factories, some of the quite large, and small villages. In one village there were storks nesting on some of the power poles in nesting boxes.

Passed several solar farms ranging in size from a quarter of an acre to two acres or so. We passed several yesterday too. Unlike France and Italy there don't seem to be any wind farms in Greece but they are heavily into solar with the solar farms and almost every house having a solar hot water unit on the roof.

Lunch at a little fish restaurant at the small fishing port of Lagos where they have free wifi and I am typing this post. We are sharing a Greek salad and I've got a grilled fish that I selected from the fridge and I'll have to pay for by weight.

A comment on Greek salads in Greece. They are huge and for the equivalent of $4 they come with a slab of feta on the top that would cost $8 in a supermarket at home. We haven't seen a single leaf of lettuce in Greece. Gail has read somewhere that they regard it as a waste of space. The salad, like any dish, always comes with a free basket of bread.

We are checked into a hotel in the city of  Alexandroupoli, a stone's throw from the beach and about 40 km from the Turkey border.

Last comments on Greece: A beautiful country with very little traffic other than in the larger cities. Even the freeways and toll ways are almost empty. We haven't seen many people actually working or travelling to or from work. Most workshops and factories seem to have empty carparks and locked doors even today, Tuesday, which is a working day and there are very few trucks travelling on the major roads. Perhaps it is a sign of the dire Greek economy. The Greek people are very friendly, most speak at least a bit of English, and every waiter claims to have a cousin living in Melbourne.

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