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Well, We've Done It At Last.

Greek Mainland, Greece

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Bob and Wendy View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Well, We've Done It At Last.
    Posted: 11 Sep 2013 at 5:20pm
After more years than I care to remember promising ourselves a visit to the mainland, we've only been and gone and done it.
Armed with borrowed maps and guide books, we are in the Zagoria, the first 2 nights we were based in the village of Koukouli (no wifi), covering the Southern and Eastern ends of the Vikos Gorge, as well as seeing how many of the ancient arched bridges we could find, we are now overnighting in Papingo, covering the Northern end of the Gorge tomorrow before making our way back to Corfu.
Whatever you may have read or heard, will not prepare you for the real thing, breathtaking, awesome, monumental, the list of adjectives is endless and all inadequate.
If you want a thrill then take the trouble to walk the last few hundred yards to the lookout point at Vikos Gorge (Oxia) a few klms past Monodhendhri, and look down, I thought I had grown out of my fear of heights, I nearly passed out. You get much the same effect on the directly opposite side of the Gorge at Vradheto, or take the steps from Kapesovo to Vradheto, (an ancient pathway needing strong legs and good boots plus a good head for heights), and no, we didn't take the stepway, we are much too old, but had fun watching others through our binoculars making the journey.
Had a swim in the river between Aristi and Papingo, ice cold but good to have done it. We've been told of a dam near Papingo where we can swim, lets hope we can find it.
Bob.
Jesus wants me as a sunbeam. And a jolly good sunbeam am I.
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Janmanessi View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2013 at 5:31pm
You will easily find the 'swimming pool'- on the last bend between Megalo Papigko and Mikro Papigko.. an absolutely magical place. If you are at Xenonas Diaz- my favourite, try their Metsovone saganaki...delicious.
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Bob and Wendy View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2013 at 12:56am
Sure enough, we found the pool, indeed magical.
Here's a rough description to wet your interest and make you say to yourselves, "Yes, we are going to do that someday"
You park easily on the side of the road, walk across and up the half a dozen stone steps, which then lead onto a nice level stone path, the sound of trickling water can be heard below you in the trees and you realise there is a cleft in the rocks to your left, you continue into what in the rest of Europe would be commercially termed a fairy grotto, or something along those lines (pay here, pass through turn stile), nothing like that here, we were on our own, just us two, the birds in the trees, and tadpoles in the water. There are little water falls trickling through the clefts in the rocks worn smooth by time, water tumbling into deep hollows in the rock, man made dams, holding back the flow to create the feature, but oh so well done. All the time you are able to walk across the layers of rock worn smooth with time like steps urging you on deeper into this magical place.
No I didn't swim though sorely tempted, I did sit on the dam with my legs dangling in the ice cold water. There are stone steps inviting you in, but unlike the previouse days, today was overcast, so, along with all the other things we have noted to do, a swim in "The Fairy Grotto of Micri Papingo" is for next time.
As we made our way back towards Igoumenitsa we noticed dark clouds all around the mountain tops with occasional flashes of lightning, well by the time we got back to Corfu, the dry summer had at last broken, so no need to water the garden tonight.
Bob.
Jesus wants me as a sunbeam. And a jolly good sunbeam am I.
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MartynG View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 2013 at 3:10pm
Well done Bob (and Wendy).  It's a while since we did that trip, but as you say, the scenery is breathtaking.  We plan a return next year, when we head for Corfu overland from the UK (on the motorbike!)
 
Sorry to have missed your earlier postings - we took the MG to Swizterland so we could watch the historic hillclimb at Ollon-Villars.  Got back last night.
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