Saturday, August 15, 2009

Magical Mountains

We continue to be amazed at how different the Greeks of the north are. They are simply more rugged people. We are thrilled when, each time we talk about our route, nobody in the room bats an eye -they get it some of them have even done such things. They don't instantly direct us to the major tollway. Instead they steer us well off the beaten track suggesting roads with spectacular views, loads of curves, and little traffic. I can safely say that I love the mountains of Northern Greece. So many treasures are tucked into her folds.

If you keep your eyes peeled when riding from Kastoria to Zahorogoria you might even score a handful of wild strawberries. Windinging our way between the Grammos and Pindos mountain ranges we pedalled away from Kastoria through Konitsa only to end our northern passage with 18 switchbacks on our way to Zahorogoria's Megalo Papigo. This is a must ride destination. Look at those switchbacks! I counted 18 on our ascent. At 3'oclock in the afternoon heat of a Greek summer this was nothing to sneer at. Thanks to the fuel provided by the amazing cookies from the bakery in Konitsa we are finally in the much talked about stone villages of the Zahorogoria.

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