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Driving around the Pilion

Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 17 June 2018

Sunday 17 June, driving around the Pilion

Restaurant in Agios Ioannis Colorful flowers, Agios IoannisIn the morning it is gray and cool but, happily, dry. We drive first to Agios Ioannis (St. John) on the coast which according to the hotel information would be only a 10 minutes walk but by car it takes us at least as long. Agios Ioannis is a popular seaside resort for the inhabitants of Volos and has two beaches. We park on the north side of the village and walk along the beach to the south side where we find a restaurant to have breakfast. Eating here is a lot cheaper than in the Netherlands, only the drinks are on the same price level.
The boulevard of Agios Ioannis The beach at Agios IoannisWhen we have finished breakfast and walk back to the car, the sun comes out. There are still heavy clouds but they are dark blue and look like a clear dark sky. And immediately the whole country looks different, so that we can shoot a beautiful picture of the beach that looks almost idyllic. But it is clear from the absence of people on the beach that it is much too cold, at most 20 degrees. Even we find that too cold, spoiled as we are.
A waterfall at Kissos Earthquake damage, MouresiFortunately, you can also make beautiful car trips here, although I'm not always happy with the steep cliffs where there is no guardrail. And sometimes there are big cracks in the roads, the result of earthquakes and landslides that regularly occur in Greece, it is one of the most active seismic countries in the world. Most are happily quite weak but occasionally a very powerful one happens. For example, the city of Volos was largely destroyed in 1955 by an eartquake.
Here you have to park the car verticallyIn Moresi we see a very special sign: park your car vertically! What would they mean with that? Also according to Teijes dictionary the word 'kathetos' means vertical or perpendicular. The only thing we can think of is that you have to park neatly along the lines but those lines are nowhere to be seen. Peculiar!
The oldest plane or sycamore tree of Greece, Tsangarada Freedom monument in TsangaradaFrom Moresi we continue to Tsangarada where we want to see the square with the old plane again. Actually Tsangarada is a collection of 4 villages and it takes a while before we find the right place. On a scenic square there is a church, a marble liberty monument and a large plane tree with a circumference of 13 meters and according to the stories it is over 1,000 years old. There is also a nice terrace where we sit for a long time to enjoy the surroundings while tourists walk back and forth to admire and photograph the plane tree.
Meanwhile, the sky is bright blue again and we even move to a table in the shade because it gets too hot. That is also one of the reasons why a plane tree is planted on almost every Greek square, because they give so much shade with their broad canopy.
This area is known for its hiking trails although we usually overlook them, we are not avid walkers. Later we hear from others that the Pilio is a real walking paradise where the old donkey paths are now used as a footpath. There is even a local Dutch walking association that also maintains the paths. With all these differences in height you obviously need good walking shoes.
Beach at Mylopotamos Beach at Papa NeroThen we drive to the coast at Mylopotamos where we see a few nice but small beaches. When we drive north again, as close to the coast as possible, we encounter a long and fairly empty beach at Papa Nero. That is a nice place for us. We did not expect to be able to go to the beach today, so that is a stroke of luck. Good thing that we brought our swimming suits in the car.
At the end of the afternoon we drive back to Agios Ioannis where we hav dinner before we return to the hotel. It has been dry all day so we have been lucky and even in the evening it stays dry for a long time. We will see what it will be tomorrow but the predictions still say that bad weather is coming.


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