Mountain Towns

Jocelyn and I spent two nights at an Airbnb in Delphi, which is an unexpectedly small town just south of the ruins of Delphi. This is the view that greeted us from our balcony:IMG_0889.jpg

Jocelyn and I are experiencing jet lag in opposite directions, so while she slept, I went on an early morning hike up a semi-marked trail above town. The views down over Delphi and the Gulf of Corinth went on and on:

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Delphi doesn’t have a whole lot that’s notable, but wow, does it have hills to climb. You need strong hamstrings to live there. You also need to be willing to put up with tourists, who mostly seem to cluster on one street at the bottom of town (I’m guessing most people don’t want to deal with all of the steps). We had good meals at Taverna To Patriko Mas (where we ate fava, grilled haloumi, and some kind of melty eggplant) and the slightly-less-swanky Taverna Vakhos (where we really liked the stuffed cabbage with lemon dill sauce). And I was happy to run into this cat:

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We spent more of our time in the ski resort town of Arachova. This place was a huge surprise — we had no idea that Greece had any skiing, never mind a full resort town. It was lovely, a bit upscale and also extremely hilly. More steps!

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There are even steps for cats (they seem to have a lot of stray cats in these towns):

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And the views — wow! We loved the views, which were endless (and which, for reasons I don’t understand, my computer will not upload right now). But these pictures should give some sense of what we were seeing:

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We spent a little while shopping on the main street, stopping in places like this sweet shop:

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And we climbed up, up, upstairs to a church:

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And we had an excellent lunch at Fterolakka (if you go, try the mushrooms with local cheese). But my favorite stop was at a little cafe …

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… where we ate ekmek, which is an amazingly delicious dessert! Jocelyn had ouzo, which is powerful stuff.

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While we love being in Greece, our first days here have reminded us of the things that could use improvement. Top among these would be the plumbing and the lack of screens in the windows (why do people want flies in their houses?). Jocelyn notes that the plumbing can make you feel like you’re in an “upper second world” country. We also wonder why Greece doesn’t do more to take advantage of the tourist industry — there’s not always a lot of signage, and there are far fewer gift shops that you would see in the US. But we’re glad that it rarely feels too touristy!

 

 

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