I haven’t been to Greece for almost 20 years and I’d never been to mainland Greece. Time to change this. Inspired by an article in a newspaper ( a real, paper version!) I booked a week’s trip to the area of Pelion. Including and surrounding Mount Pelion I was promised a different kind of Greece: greenery, mountains, beaches and from my dubious looking Greek colleagues, the fear of rain. I was reassured that it was a great place to go and the article promised me that the area didn’t close down like the islands did and was a perfect autumn destination.
Nervously arriving in Thessaloniki, it was disappointing to see that it was, indeed, raining. I explained to my travelling companion that this was, in fact, a good thing. We had a 4 hour drive, so it would be a waste if it were gorgeous sunshine and we were stuck in the Fiat Panda all day. The rain continued and my fear of getting lost was reducing when I realised that there was only one road to follow, and we were going in the right direction according to the signs.
4 hours later and we still hadn’t arrived. But we were nearly there. We had negotiated the town of Volos and were in the Pelion region. A couple of straightforward directions made it seem as if we would reach our destination in no time. What I discovered was that there are only a couple of roads in Pelion, so there’s not much need for more than a couple of instructions.
The mountain scenery was splendid in its autumn colours, and the views down to the sea were amazing when they were visible. Finally we arrived in Tsagaranda – the last clue to help us find our accommodation. “After the village, turn right. And keep turning right until you come to the end of the road”. My struggle was to establish when we had reached the end of the road. The roads became progressively narrower, but when we reached a dirt track, I decided we had reached the end of the road.
The final part of the journey was on foot: a steep descent to the small harbour of Damouhari. I recognised the name of the guest house we were booked in, but there didn’t seem to be anyone about. We carried on around the corner to be welcomed by Victoria and her husband, with the magic words: “can we get you some tea?”
Settled in on the terrace, with a view over the bay and the last of the evening sun (which had appeared towards the end of the afternoon). The long journey had been worth it and it was time to relax!