Kalambaka Travel Blog› entry 36 of 44 › view all entries
According to the map we had, our drive to Kalambaka would take us an hour and a half - 30 minutes to get from Monodendri back to Ioannina, and an hour from there to Kalambaka. There was a major freeway that ran from the west coast of Greece all the way through Ioannina and went very close to our destination for the night. This was going to be easy!
We headed back to Ioannina from Monodendri the same way we took to get there the day before and headed east toward Trikala and Kalambaka.
We turned around and asked some workers where we could get on the highway going east. They assured us that we needed to keep traveling east and that soon enough we would find it. We were a little perplexed, but took their word for it. "Soon enough" turned into quite a while and we found ourselves zig-zagging once again through the mountains on a two lane road. Where was our quick highway route? It wasn't until we had almost reached Metsovo that we found it, like a ray of golden sunshine - the highway!
Man we were excited now.
We had driven on the highway for a good 4 minutes (that's not a typo) before we started to see signs that said "freeway ends". Huh? I hope that was a big mistranslation. Unfortunately, it wasn't...our ray of hope ended and before we knew what was going on, we were back on 2 lane roads putzing along towards Kalambaka. Apparently, the freeway was unfinished.
The rest of our drive was uneventful, but a bit slow. Darkness settled in on us, and with the rain and trucks it took us closer to 3 hours to reach Kalambaka. Once there, we parked the car and wandered through the rain until we could find someone who was able to tell us where our hotel was. Now that we had the route, it was a short drive to get there. We checked in, dropped off our things, and peeked back outside. The rain had started to fizzle out, so we chose to walk through the town to look at restaurants.
Greek food is great, but tonight we wanted to try something different. The one place that stood out in our minds was a pizza place, so we went in there. They even had some healthier options on the menu, so we ordered some not-so-bad-for-you toppings and I told Cathy all about the pizza in Europe.
Cathy and I eat so healthy back home that this kind of thing literally makes us sick. However, on this occasion we were tired, smelly, and hungry, and we had done a 7 hour hike earlier, so we went for it. We ate a lot of pizza and a salad that we had ordered with it, and it was SO GOOD. It didn't even make us sick, I guess our bodies really needed the energy. When we left the restaurant, the rain had stopped, and we were finally able to see some of the rocks that made up Meteora. Talk about incredible!
Content, but still very tired, we headed back to the hotel and called it a night. The guy working the desk said we should expect rain the next day, so that bummed me out. Maybe it won't be so bad.