On the way to Metsovo we stopped at a service station and picked up a decent map of Greece. It is now in tatters after being folded into various configurations and crammed into bags, but served its purpose. It was needed because part of the plan was to get off the highways.
We could have gone from Metsovo to Kastoria, back east along the Egnatia Odos and then north along the connecting highway. 2 hours or so, of high speed, but not very interesting. So instead, something much more interesting and fun….. West to Ioannina, where we picked up the old E90 which, as suspected, is now almost empty of traffic. It is a fabulous road, it winds past Kastoria and through mountains near the Albanian border, not for going fast on, but one to take in the amazing mountain scenery, and to drift along at a far slower pace. The road was on the whole in really good condition, well maintained despite no longer being a major route, but not with many places to stop for refreshments, but we did manage to find an old truck stop still open and serving frappe.
Ashley found the various road signs amusing, warnings about ice – not in July, it was hot, though nowhere near as hot as the last time we traveled this road. Warnings about bears, a rather cute sign of an adult and a cub. Not really on the plan to encounter a bear on the road, bears are far better kept at a distance.
It meant we got to Kastoria late in the afternoon where we found a hotel easily enough and decided to relax by the lakeside for the evening, Another frappe, a stroll, watched a pelican or two on the lake, drank some beer, found a teverna. It was all very pleasant. Though we did decide not to patronise the bar in this picture…
We did not get into the buying of fur and leather which Kastoria is famous for. There were many shops in the town and around the lake larger places to handle tour buses which seemed to be aimed at Bulgarian tourists or others who use that particular alphabet.