Greece is the Word travel blog

Pouring rain this morning and where is our umbrella? In the luggage that we checked which is supposedly at Athens airport as of the last check on line.

We stopped at the place where they make religious icons and learned the 3 processes they use. Everything done by hand on canvas, done by computer (seriography) on canvas and done on paper with a photo (lithography).

The ones by hand are drawn on canvas, then painted with natural paints(plants, rocks) going from dark colors to light colors, then gold leaf is applied around the icon. When using the computer it automatically applies the colors from dark to light. Lithography a computer generated image is printed on paper. What did we purchase…one umbrella for 8 Euros!

When we got back on the bus Maria gave Heather a little birthday gift from her and the driver and had everyone in the group sing Happy Birthday to her.

There are 6 monasteries of the original 24 remaining on the rocks. We visited 2 of them. But Maria pointed out the James Bond Monastery (actually Holy Spirit) where “For Your Eyes Only” was filmed. I am not a fan of James Bond movies so I would not know! These are Greek Orthodox monasteries.

The first monastery we visited was All Saints. We walked up 195 stairs in pouring rain, with rivers of rain water flowing down the steps. Inside the chapel area were all kinds of frescos painted on the walls and ceilings telling different Bible stories. No photos were allowed. The views from the monastery were amazing! Heather was enlightened here while going to use the bathroom…she thought she was in the men’s because she said there were only urinals. Of course took a photo to show me…Squatty Potty! The Greeks call them Turkish toilets! She didn’t use them because she didn’t know how! Told her it was like going in the woods!

The rain stopped for a bit and we were able to get out and climb on a rock to get a view of 5 of the 6 monasteries. We then walked down steps to get to the second monastery we were visiting, St. Barbara. It was run by the nuns and we did actually see some of them working in the gift shops. Chapel also had beautiful frescos of Biblical stories. Again there were some beautiful views from the top.

We went back to Kalambaka for lunch at Mama Kate’s. She invites you to take an empty plate and come into the kitchen and fill it up with whatever food she is making for the day (10E if you want meat; 8 E for vegetarian). When we walked in and Heather saw people coming out with plates with rice and canned peas we were out of there. Besides it was more food then we could eat anyway.

We walked around the town. We stopped at one of the many, many bakeries in town and got a lovely piece of chocolate cake!

We started on our long drive back to Athens. We could have cut out some time if we didn’t make 2 pit stops!

We arrived in Athens late, walking back to the hotel with Ron and Elaina, the Australian couple we met on the first day waiting for the bus to start the tour. We walked by this “hole in the wall” restaurant and the owners greeted them and they said they would be back to eat later. Ron told us the food was very good and cheap.

After several attempts of non-answered phone calls, Heather finally got through to someone about her lost luggage. It would be delivered to the hotel by midnight.

We decided to try it out Ron and Elaine’s recommendation as it was right across from the hotel and we had to be up early in the morning. The food and hospitality were delicious. Ron and Elaina joined us and said even though we asked for the check we won’t be allowed to leave yet. They brought us yogurt with honey, “on the house”. After we finished that they brought everyone a shot of some kind of liqueur; it had a woody aroma, a little bit of a peppermint taste and very smooth. We still weren’t done, they brought us a cup of hot tea! We each left with a bottle of water. All of this was on the house. The restaurant only has about 8 small (3’x3’) tables and the whole building isn’t more than 10 feet wide. The outside seating is about 6’x10’, the inside eating space is smaller and right behind is the kitchen area. The building can’t be more than 25’long. It certainly isn’t a place we would have chosen to eat at. They do have a 4 ½ star recommendation on Trip Advisor! Marcus and either his daughter/wife, not sure which, are the friendliest and most welcoming people. They make you feel like a guest in their home. (Their apartment is upstairs!) We would have missed out on a great opportunity if it hadn’t been for the Aussies!

Our room at the same hotel is smaller but we have a view of the acropolis from the window! I guess either you get a small room and a view or a large room and no view!

We have to be at the pickup spot tomorrow at 7 am for our 1 day tour of 3 islands!

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