Date: April 23, 2004
Cities: Kalambaka, Meteora

Eirini completely lost her voice overnight. Heidi played the voice of tour director on the bus for the day. When we reached Kalambaka we stopped at a pharmacy for Eirini to pick up some throat spray.

2004But first, there was a moment of surprise when the bus grounded out and stuck as we were leaving. Once the passengers got off, the suspension rose and the bus was able to back up again. There was minimal cosmetic damage. Our faith in Paris was not shaken, which was good since today was all narrow mountain road driving, especially up to the monasteries.

2004The first stop was a monastery which was just across a bridge from the parking lot. From there we went to a second monastery which has 150 steps from the bridge up through the outer door and the porch to the church door. It was a good hike up, but the view was fantastic, and the church and courtyards were well worth the effort.

After the monasteries we dropped the guide and four of our group in Kalambaka, three more at the hotel, and then went to see Father Pefkis making icons using traditional Byzantine materials including egg tempera. Jane got a middling large icon as her sole souvenir of the trip. It was painted by Brother Pefkis himself, and he signed it for Jane while Allan paid.

Allan dozed while Sam, the sole male college student, spoke about Greek politics from World War II to the end of the Junta in 1974. The bus wasn't really comfortable, with no good place to lean on, so we slept four more hours after we returned to the hotel. We find regular naps greatly enhance our enjoyment of traveling.

cookie by
Allan West and
Jane Dominguez