Monday, 16 July 2018

More Rocks!

 After the monasteries we needed some lunch, so we stopped in the town of Kosta and spent an hour walking around and finding some lunch.


 The hotel Famissa played on the ancient Greek heritage with its exterior decor.


Here is a closer look at the columns in the front.
 

Kosta was a cute little town, but i had a hard time finding a place with real food. I ended up having coffee at a place that had NO FOOD!
 

The best thing to get in Kosta is ice cream and there were lots of places to get that.

Here are some of my fellow travellers at a nice ice cream place.


You can see the mountains from the ice cream shop.


After that, we headed to our new hotel. The Karovastasi Beach Hotel in Perdika. This was a hotel out in the middle of nowhere, but I liked it.

We got there in the late afternoon and there was a ruin nearby that I was really eager to climb, but the path was overgrown and I was advised against trying to make the hike on my own, so I went back and took a fewpictures of the grounds and rooms. 


The rooms were clean and accceptable but nothing spectacular.
 

We were on the second floor and had a little functional patio with a drying rack that allowed us to air dry our bathing suits.
 

The best thing about the hotel, was the swimmingpool!


It had a little bar and then multiple  sections and even a little bridge over the pool.
 



 

There was also a beautiful beach nearby.  What I liked about it, was that it was just a beach. (No shops, no buildings, just a beach with a little path and some chairs.)
 

We had dinner on the veranda in front. which was very pleasant.
 

We walked out to the beach after dinner so we could watch the sun set. There is a point on the road where there are these beautiful mimosa trees.
 

The chairs were stacjked up and there was also this funny blow up horse.
 

The sunset was gorgeous!
 

We looked for shells...
 

and strolled along the shore.
 

Then turned and headed back to the hotel.
 

The next day we had a busy day planned, after breakfast...


  I had to capture a shot of this bouganvilla.


before we boarded the bus. Our fearless leader teased me that I liked rocks, because I loved visiting all those ancient archaelogical sites.  Today's post has more rocks, be these are the garden variety: Islands full of big rocks. We loaded into the bus and headed west so we could take a boat ride around the islands of Paxis and Antipaxis.


We encountered another shepherd and his flock as we left.


As we drove slowly the herd moved forward aided by its guide dogs.


Finally we were able to pass them and head on our way.
 

 We passed lots of olive trees on the way.


The nets were rolled up, but ready to pull up around the trees whenthe olives would be ripe enough to harvest.

We were going for a boat ride today, so we headed over to Parga to catch our tour.


Parga was a colorful little town. The bus let us out way up at the top, because it could not navigate the narrow streets, so we had to walk a long way to get to the wharf where our tour started.
 

Yes, it was a three hour tour!
 

Eventually we found our boat and climbed aboard.



The same company owned several boats next toeach other on the dock. I though the Captain Hook was sort of cute with its canons!
 

Here we are shoving off and heading towards the island of Antipaxis.
 

There was this old ruin on the island we were leaving.
 

The water was a beautiful deep blue.
 

I found this sign on the bathroom door  kind of funny.
 

In the distance we could see other islands. 


There were lots of boats out with the beautiful weather we were experiencing.
 


I'm going to let the pictures do a lot of the "talking" here, because the images are much more powerful than any of the words I could find to describe them.


We made stops twice so that people could swim. Here are two members of our group at the first swim stop.
 

At the second stop there was a little cove, (but you can't see it here.
 

There was also an abundance of fish.
 


After our second swimming stop we headed off to an area of the island where there were so-called caves,which were really  more like niches in the walls  of the island.
 

We passed impressive rock formations on the way.
 

People who know me, know that I am a texture person - and I was elated by all the shapes and textures we passed on our way to the "caves."
 


You can see crevices and nooks already as we approach this part of the island.
 

Our captain was a very skillful driver and was able to bring the boat into even the narrower crevices.




We follwed the edge of the island and looked at the various caves.
 

Look at the beautiful structure of this rock face.
 

 This was the largest "cave" that we entered.


Here is our captain.
 

Soon we turned and headed to the island of our goal.
 

 I wonder who built this arch and why.



One island we passed was full of seagulls.
 

We stopped in Antipaxis for lunch and shopping.



It was a quaint town with many opportunities for beautiful pictures.
 

There were very narrow little alleys with that characteristic "Greek look".
 

I had lunch at a place that had decorations from a crashed airplane. (Like this gnarled motor behind the urn.)
 

These are mediterranean colors!
 

This man was friendly and talked to everyone that went by.
 

The flowers really add panache to the little streets.
 


This statue stood on the waterfront at the far end of town.
 


When we  went back to Parga we again had a chance to shop and eat. I was determined to have sea food, so two companions and I found Soudia, a lovely little water front tavern.


Look at this great meal for two that we ordered and...
 

supplemented with that fish.

It was SO good and we had the best waiter, a sardonic Greek man whomade wonderfully snarky comments to us and a dutch couple that were sitting next to us. He was actually very sweet and gave us each a sample of the olive oil that he "pressed" for olive growers in the area. (They actually centrifuge olive oil these days, so "press" is not the right word.) 


It was pretty interesting to see this Eastern Orthodox priest.
 

One fish shop had this display of the local catch.
 

 It was time to take one last look at the sea and then get back on the bus to go to Karovastasi Beach Hotel.


The next day (June 18) we would say goodbye to Greece and begin our tour of the Balkans and head over to Gjirokastra Albania.