Posts Tagged ‘Xanthi’


Take the road to Drama (a town in northern Greece) and turn right – into the mountains. We left the coastal plains, the factories, trucks, straight roads and the stress, and curved our way into a different part of Greece. Muslim. Rural. Beautiful.

Climbing to the Bulgarian border

Climbing to the Bulgarian border

Today was always going to be wet. The question was: where did we want to cycle in the nice weather after today? Along straight busy roads in Greece, or on the narrow, mountainous Bulgarian roads. An easy decision. We left the coast, and left the noise, hectic and traffic stress. The scenery, villages and people changed. We saw more mosques, and it became more rural, and much more mountainous. Granted, we were bathed in cloud, and rained on. And it was steep. But we breathed a sigh of relief. It was not just going from A to B. It was the journey again.

Before the first big climb. Filling up with some pastries.

Before the first big climb. Filling up with some pastries.

Echinos was a muslim town. We were welcomed with 4 simultaneous calls to prayer.

Echinos was a muslim town. We were welcomed with 4 simultaneous calls to prayer.

What better way to celebrate a climb than with the famous Xanthian sweets? Luckily we were able to find a lovely little gazebo offering shelter from the rain, so that we could cherish these Xanthian delicacies.

The blissful moment is imminent

The blissful moment is imminent

Hehe. Calories. Here we come!

Hehe. Calories. Here we come!

The view from our snack gazebo

The view from our snack gazebo

The final climb to Bulgaria was up a small, innocuous road, garnished with a little sign ‘Bulgaria’, that went almost vertically upwards from the turnoff. Entering Bulgaria we took the high road. We are now in Zlatograd, which I think is lovely name. I just love saying it, over and over. Zlatograd. Zlatograd. Zlatograd. Hehe.

Hello Bulgaria

Hello Bulgaria

Day 62. 58km. Kavala – Xanthi

Posted: November 15, 2014 in Cycling, Greece
Tags: , , ,

I love playing with the fridge magnet game – putting sentences together with the words provided. Here are the words for today: rain, grey, road-death memorial, Petropigi, Paradeisos, Virgin Forest of Libidoitis, screw, rubber gloves, dodgy sauce, musky oregano for young children.

Xanthi - town of the pharmacies in the rain

Xanthi – town of the pharmacies in the rain

It was also a day of singing – in the rain. I can’t sing to save myself, and I pity James who had to listen to it. (My friend Ed from Delft is much better at singing.) My mother used to sing a song about Constantinople. And, in Kavala, we were 460km away from it.

Constantinople

Constantinople

Closer to Istanbul

Closer to Istanbul

A stop near Petropigi turned into a longer affair as James’ tyre was screwed.

Tyre is screwed

Tyre is screwed

Still, it was a pleasant ride passing Paradeisos and the Virgin Forest of Libidoitis.

We should have taken the road to Paradise

We should have taken the road to Paradise

We saw lots of road-death memorials. In Australia we call them ‘black-spots’, where people die on the road. A few days ago we passed where people can buy these memorials – just out of Thessaloniki next to the Titan Concrete works.

Road-death memorial

Road-death memorial

James, the carnivore, was keen on some flesh for dinner, so we went and had some at the local Greek restaurant. I didn’t order the dodgy sauce, though, or the musky oregano for young children.

Greek delights

Greek delights

Our hotel room looks like a bomb hit it.

Bomb

Bomb

Tomorrow the weather forecast is – drumroll – rain. After that it is going to clear up. We have decided to head off to Zlatograd in the Bulgarian mountains. There they are bound to be some curves in the roads, and a few less trucks.