Ep. 18: Magical Meteora

Hi there – welcome to a new episode of our blog. After our little vaccination trip back home we arrive safely at Corfu Airport and head straight back to the campsite where we see Rosie standing on the lawn close to the reception like nothing ever happened. It feels good to be reunited with our friends as well, who of course kept an eye on our mobile home while we where away. After a while of settling in and a quick jump into the large pool we begin preparing for our journey to see more of Greece. All the stuff we brought home needs sorting (finally we picked up our dual gasoline stove!) and the water tanks need cleaning as well. Before we leave the island after another night, we stop close by to the airport to check out a famous plane watching spot right behind the runway. You can see the planes coming in from the sea and it feels like them being just a few meters above our heads. Humans have built astonishing machines and we are about to embark in a four-wheeled one after watching a couple of planes arriving and departing. Now quick, otherwise we´ll miss the ferry to the mainland!

Dionysus = God of Wine.
Touching planes at Corfu Airport

Once we roll from the ferry at Igoumenitsa we stock up on fuel and food and take on the 200 km drive towards the town of Kalambaka as we intend to explore a special sight and one of the top landmarks of Greece: Meteora! The UNESCO World Heritage site is a rock formation in central Greece hosting one of the largest und most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries which sit on top of huge rocks seemingly impossible to access. We get a first glimpse of the area while looking for a place to stay and are thrilled by it´s uniqueness. As you would expect close to a touristy area it is quite crowded and wild camping is difficult as most of the sites are protected. We check-in at a local campsite and are relieved to see that there is still a place for both our cars in the shade. To escape at least a little bit of the intense heat we get up before sunrise (at almost 30°C at night it was hard to find sleep anyway) and make our way to a hiking track we found on the Komoot App. In the morning shade we start the first meters of our hike through Meteora knowing perfectly well that it is not going to stay this cool for long. A local dog joins us pretty soon and seems to lead the way – nice, we got ourselves a free local guide. 

Meteora morning view

Meteora midday view

Hiking through the rocks

Hi buddy!

At sunrise we are already up on a hill on our way to the first monastery. The landscape is rocky covered partly by forests in between the high cliffs the monasteries where built on. What an exciting walk through a surreal part of history! We take our time to soak in as much as possible and even make our way into one of the buildings which is perfectly preserved and maintained. It seems like the entry fees are invested in a good manner to keep the site accessible for many years to come. We did not plan it that way but we end up being on the hike for about six or seven hours so we decide to head back to the campsite. On the way we recognized that we have lost almost all our energy on the hike: It is impossible to cook by ourselves now, so we hit a local tavern and exchange the impressions of the day while stuffing ourselves with Feta cheese and Pita, all washed down by ice cold beer. This must be heaven! The two days at Meteora pass quickly and on our way to the next destination we look for petrol for our stove at a tiny gas station. What seemed to be a quick stop evolves into a 30-minute room tour of our car for the owner and his son as they are super interested in the way we live on the road. These tiny encounters along the way are the best. 

Dogs in the way...

...and dogs leading the way.

We found the place. Not though though, it´s in EVERY guide

Panorama with two homes on wheels

We split ways with our friends after a perfect iced coffee alongside the road and agree on meeting in a couple of days somewhere on the western shore of Greece. Once again we feel the need for a little offroad drive in higher areas – of course the cooler temperatures are a bonus. We follow the motorway 2 back west and leave the large roads at the village of Megalo Peristeri to head into the highlands surrounding Mt. Lakmos and Tzoumerka National Park. Along bold slopes and remote meadows we are gaining altitude and are greeted by an – for us – unexpected, lovely mountain panorama on the Greece mainland which you would not see on travel magazines or websites. We make our way through a couple of sheep and cow herds and are glad to have a little bit of aluminium between ourselves and the massive dogs guarding the flock and farms up here. Our last couple of meters on the mountain trail leads us to a ridgeline with a stunning view into the mountains, so we decide to look for a campspot and find one close-by. There is not a soul in sight as we prepare dinner and satisfied we sink into our chairs to enjoy nature´s silence after the busy and hot days at Meteora. 

Up in the hills

This camp spot deserves a raise

Time to feed the body...

...and the soul.

Travel period: Beginning of July 2021


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