Travelled: 132 miles from Mount Olympus to Sithonia
Visited: Vergina, the Palace and Tombs of Aigai
Stayed: Sithonia (small hand, middle finger), Northern Greece
After walking to the Holy Cave and back up through the Monastery of Saint Dionysios we hit the road again. It’s a long slow downhill from our perch on Olympus. It takes almost 30 minutes to reach Litochoro and turn onto the E75. Obviously in 2-3rd gear most of then time trying to save the brakes. Our good friends and neighbours Colin and Gaye love a good museum and excavation so thinking of them we plan on a little detour to Vergina.
An hour or so later the GPS has us on some endless series of backroads through the mountains, but Pam has the Greek atlas and we find ourselves a less direct but better road into Vergina. We follow the signs to the car park and some shade along side another motorhome. The walk to the historic site requires us to pass every restaurant and souvenir in town. By now it’s another very hot afternoon and the appeal wandering around some ruins in the sun is even less appealing when we find it’s €8 each to get in.
Vergina was the home of the Macedonian Kings and the site of the royal burial chambers dated around 350 BC. These chambers are within a mound, basically a man-made hill. The museum and it’s surrounding grounds are one of the best and most interesting we have seen. The museum itself is underground within the hill, so out of the sun and air-conditioned. Took the sting out of the €8. As much of the site had not been looted, until it was officially excavated, the pieces on display are quite amazing. However there were no photo signs and security people everywhere, so I cannot share it with you unfortunately.
After a surprisingly good lunch in a little restaurant (with excellent wifi) for €11 with beer we head to the carpark. We have been travelling across Europe for 10-11 days now we decide to have a couple of nights on the beach in Sithonia before the long drive to the Turkish frontier.
Sithonia is the middle finger of the Halkidiki peninsula. The Lonely Planet describes it a laid back of little villages and beaches. We spend a night on the west coast and another on the east coast. Enjoying several swims in the Aigean and some more free camping on the beach. At Agios Lionnos on the west coast we parked on a headland above the beach with about 10 other motorhome, mostly Czech Republic plated. About mid-night a storm came through, lots of lightning and wind for most of the night it seemed. Anyway we slept in a little and found everything inside and out covered with dust, so more housekeeping to be done.
Michael and Pam