The ferry from Chios to Thessaloniki takes about 22 hours. We had a cabin so we slept for some of it, but neither of us can sleep that long. We played games, Hilary read an entire novel… There was not much to see except sea and shorelines but, eventually, we arrived in Thessaloniki where there was quite a lot of traffic.
We found a hotel. It wasn’t cheap, but it was around 9:30 in the evening and we were not in a mood to explore a new city without some food! We checked in, found a secure parking lot for the bike, unloaded the bike, showered and set off in search of food.
The area around the harbour is very lively at night. We had an excellent choice of restaurants, all with live music (of varying quality). We got lucky with ours. The food was excellent and good value. Thessaloniki is a city worth exploring. We intend to go back there, probably without the bike and get to know it.
This trip, however, we had the hotel’s buffet breakfast to sustain us then we hacked up the Egnatia Odos to Metsovo. Not the most exciting road, though once in the mountains a tribute to Greek engineering and EU money.
Metsovo is a winter sports resort and, when it’s not weekend, very quiet in summer. It was difficult to find an open restaurant in the evening, even taking into account the Greek habit of not eating till late. The scenery is spectacular – it’s inside the Mount Pindos National Park. We did not see any bears though there are at least 500 European Brown bears in the park. This may be due to not having got up early enough in the morning.
We strolled around, sat in a bar with dramatic views (and a telescope with which to view them) and ate dinner. There is some good hiking in the area but we were not staying long enough to take advantage of it. Apart from which even at altitude it was pretty hot. Hiking in the mountains would have been a serious effort and require carrying copious quantities of water, i something best not done in the middle of summer.