Greece – Athens to Kalambaka, 22 June 2009

Throughout our night on the boat from Heraklion to Piraeaus, I actually found myself wishing, hoping, and praying that our boat will be late, so that I can get more shuteye than 6 hours. Yes, I’m really not a fan of waking up early. Well, tough luck. At around 5am, the PA system came on, and we were told to start clearing out of our rooms, and prepare for disembarkation. Boo!

We arrived at the port of Pireaus at around 6 am, and then lugged our tired bodies to the metro, and headed towards the train station for our onward journey to Kalambaka. Tourists visit the town of Kalambaka mostly for the purpose of going to Meteora, which is famous for monasteries and nunneries perched atop a hill. This was supposed to complete our trip, as it would give a variety of sights, from ruins, to beaches, to islands, to religious architecture. Also, I just enjoy taking the rail.

Anyway, I digress. We got to the train station early, stood in line, and purchased our tickets to Kalambaka (~EUR 22, 5 hrs). As we still had some time to spare, and we were hungry, we popped into the cafe that was conveniently situated in the train station, and grabbed some grub while waiting for our train. Frankly, I don’t remember much about our train journey, as I passed out from the lack of sleep from the night before. The cabin was pretty nice, and not ratty at all, if anyone cares!

After arriving in Kalambaka, we set about looking for accommodations. After sorta just walking straight out of the train station and down the street (yes, prepare, we do not), we found Hotel Astoria that was good for us at EUR20 per person (can’t remember the name), and had ensuite bathroom. After dropping our bags, next part of mission – fill the ache in the belly. After a short 10 min walk, we hit town center, and of course, we ended up eating more gyros pita again. I wish I had more to say about Greek food, but unfortunately, my diet was limited to meals of gyros pita. They are excellent, btw, it’s just that I hit overkill. Damn my lousy budget!

As half of our day was gone, our biggest mission for today was to try and find a road up to Meteora, since we didn’t want to take a bus, or do a tour, but wanted to go our own. Well, all I can say is, follow the signs, and you’ll get up there. It took a while.

The town of Kalambaka also has some attractions to offer. In particular, they do have a couple of impressive-looking churches, and I think the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin has some relics.

Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, Kalambaka

Church of the Assumption of the Virgin

Chinese Shop in Kalambaka

Chinese shop in Kalambaka

Hiking up from Kalambaka

Ok, this was the sign we saw going down. So look for a sign like that that says “Meteora”

Kalambaka Town

Town of Kalambaka

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Categories: Architecture, Greece, Rail | Tags: | Leave a comment

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