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Bad weather so we go back home

Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 16 to 19 July 2017

Sunday 16 July, bad weather so we go back home

Along the east coast of Sithonia Restaurant on SithoniaIt is still nice and warm but pretty cloudy when we wake up. We do not really have a plan what we want to do the last days but because of my knee longer walks are no longer an option. That is why we drive to the east coast of the Sithonia peninsula, where we visit another beach than the one where we usually sit. Besides the beautiful coast and nice villages and beaches, Sithonia has an untouched nature and even though we do not walk, we also enjoy the views from the car.
Mount Athos in the distance Refilling water bottles for freeWe find a nice beach where we do not stay too long because it gets a bit fresher and then we find a place in a restaurant from where we can see Mount Athos in the distance. Athos the mountain dominates the peninsula with the same name and there are mainly monasteries there. It is a semi-autonomous area where only men are admitted. You must have an access pass to enter!
Along the way we see a number of natural sources where water is pumped up and in some places people are filling large water bottles. Handy if you are traveling with a camper.
When we drive back, it starts to rain, first slowly but it gets more and more intense and in the few meters we have to walk from the car to the hotel, we get soaked. The streets, which are not calculated on such quantities of water, are soon flooded and there is also more and more wind so that I can hardly even sit on our covered balcony.

Monday 17 July 2017, because of the rain we leave earlier

Rain showers in Greece The pouring rain when we leave GreeceThe next morning it is still raining cats and dogs and we hang around in the covered part on the ground floor and talk with Kiki and Michael, the owners. If we look again at the weather forecast, it appears that the medousa (the 'jellyfish') as they call these torrential rains could last for several days and we decide to head for the Netherlands today. So we say goodbye quite unexpectedly and are quickly on the busy road to Thessaloniki. People always drive very fast here but this time nobody fortunately goes faster than 40 kilometers per hour because the road is completely flooded and you can't see the holes in it.
The mountains of Northern Macedonia Sunflower fields in Northern MacedoniaAnd so we drive slowly to the north and finally cross the border with Northern Macedonia. Just before we left, we quickly arranged a hotel in the north of Macedonia because we assumed that we could not drive very far today because we only left in the afternoon. Halfway through the country the sky suddenly starts to open up and very occasionally the sun shows itself again. It gets a little warmer outside and when we arrive at our hotel in Kumanovo the sun is shining brightly.
Teije on an empty balconyWe have a totally empty balcony so I put a chair out of the room but that is not very comfortable to sit with a straight back. But luckily there are covered picnic benches at the pool where I can sit with the laptop. I feel a bit disappointed that we left Greece so suddenly and a few days earlier than planned, but with only rain there is not much to it. And I kept listening to the Greek radio in the car for as long as possible today to hear the language. In any case, I have been able to practice this holiday a lot and have learned quite a bit. At home I will continue to learn and practice again in Greece next year!

Tuesday 18 July 2017, the way back to Groningen

View from our hotel in Northern MacedoniaThis morning the sun is shining and it feels very pleasant outside. We get a special breakfast at the hotel: we are the only guests and especially for us they have put down a small buffet in a large empty hall with some sandwiches and a few different types of fillings. It does not look very appetizing but a lot of care has put into it and people keep a close eye on whether or not we need something. We eat a sandwich, drink the coffee and ask in sign language if we can take some fruit. They make gestures that it is no problem and at 9 o'clock we leave towards the Serbian border.
At the border we do not have to wait that long and then we have to go a few hundred kilometers to the far northwest of the country. On the way we stop at a gas station and there we are flooded by a group of street vendors who want to sell their cheap I-phones and the like to us. I am going into an argument with a somewhat older man who keeps insisting that I need a new phone and I show him my cheap phone full of cracks: look, I say, it works fine, what should I do with such an I-phone? Of course I also know that they are not real I-phones, for 50 euros that is not really possible. The first asking price was € 200 so it has already gone down a lot. We are curious to see if there are any people who whould fall for this trick. Maybe other tricksters who try to trick them? Even if we walk back to the car they keep on trying to sell us something.
Our red hotel room in Vinksi Dvor, Serbia Art on the wall in Vinski DvorToday we need to drive only 600 kilometers on mainly very good motorways so we are on time at the hotel Vinski Dvor where we already were on the outward journey. But then Elisabeth felt terribly bad, with bruised ribs and nauseous but this time she can enjoy the fairytale decor of the hotel and the delicious food they have. We have the same big red room again and have to pay only about € 50 for the night, dinner for 2 people, including drinks. A great place to stay.
The next day we drive to Dresden where we stay the night and then to Groningen. It is a long drive, from Paralia Dionysiou 2,400 kilometers in total. And the car also began to show more and more defects. From Belgrade on it did not want to drive on LPG after refueling, the cruise control had already failed in Greece, the disrupted passenger door after an attempted break-in, the new scratches (partly caused by myself) on the paint and on the last part we get a thick crack in the windshield by a stone that is blown against it.
But alright, we can always trade the car in later, the beautiful memories of 6 weeks holiday will stay. And next year we will come back to Greece by car, we are not tired of it yet.


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