Thursday 4 July 2013
We’re in Halkidiki or that could be Chalkidiki, Chalcidice or Chalkidike. Like most places in Greece it seems to have at least 4 variations of its name. So far we have just about managed with our road map, which gives 2 variations on a towns name, and the Sat Nav and we’ve only got lost a few times. Anyway it’s all very nice and, along with loads of other campervaners, we’re ignoring the signs below and still managing to wild-camp in some fantastic places.
After leaving Alexandroupolis we pottered along the coast finding it hard not to keep stopping every hour or so as we stumble across yet another dreamy sandy cove. Turkey is a great country to travel around but the Greek beaches are just fantastic and the sea is so warm. It’s quiet too, although the tourists are here the coastline is so vast they are few and far between.
Halkidiki is the part of northern mainland Greece that looks like a cows udder, or if you prefer the brochure blurb of the Greek Tourist Board its ‘shaped like Poseidon’s trident, sticking out into the Aegean Sea’. The most easterly peninsula is mainly monks, monasteries and Mount Athos. Women are forbidden from visiting it – good, that means a photo of the 2033m high mountain from the middle peninsula will have to do.
There are plenty of ancient sites here in Greece but to be honest we’ve been mesmerised by the beautiful beaches and clear blue sea. We drove past this huge stone lion at Amphipolis, parts of it date to the 4th C BC, and today we are parked up on Toroni beach which has a Byzantine fortress. Unfortunately it is all locked up with a sign saying ‘Works in progress’ – not that there is anything obvious going on.
As well as driving and swimming we’ve also been doing a bit of retail therapy buying things we have been meaning to get for some time. In Dikili in Turkey we found the perfect ‘coffee table’ for our sundowners. Here in Greece we have bought a tray, a fly-swat, a fan that runs off a USB connection and a hat.
Had we known that this lady would be walking past us on the beach I might have waited before buying my hat – if only to pretend I wanted the one at the bottom in the hope that she would have to take them all off one by one – I count 20! Any advances on that?
|Beach vendor rockin that multi-hat look....|