A day off today was in order to that we could accomplish a couple of things. First, we had work to do. Second, we needed to figure out our next move.
A brief look at the map this morning left us with the overwhelming reminder that Helsinki is a long way away! If we’re ever going to make it by the time our flight leaves in August, we’ve got to cover some long legs overland using something besides human power.
Our first move was to catch a train to Thessaloniki where we’ll regroup before heading further north into Eastern Europe, possibly through Bulgaria toward Romania. We visited the train station this afternoon where i asked the station master (seriously, that’s what the title on his door said) whether our bikes will be able to get on the train with us. He made a patting gesture with his hands and almost howled something that sounded roughly like “nieeeahhh” while nodding his head. Since “nieeeahh” doesn’t translate very well, I asked him to clarify, and he repeated the gesture and the noise. Looking blankly at him, he repeated it a third time, leaving me entirely unclear whether he wanted to me ask forgiveness rather than permission or whether that meant that I was probably going to be out of luck. I don’t understand why it has to be such a confusing hassle for a big train to move some bikes and luggage around, but in either event, we’ll head to the station bright and early to see how it goes! It’s all part of the adventure!
The town of Kalabaka was pretty well closed up for Sunday, leaving our food options pretty scarce, but we made a lovely stop for gyros (Ben ate two!) and pastries before getting back to work this afternoon.
Once the evening hours arrived, we rode again, part way up to Meteora to be again among the cliffs as the sun went down. A short hike left us sitting on the trail, stone pillars all around, soaking up the majesty of this impressive place. We marveled how much like Zion National Park it seemed, so familiar and yet so new. I felt so still. We will be sad to move on to the big city tomorrow.