Day 5: Makrinista/Mt. Olympus
Tuesday, May 25th, 1999
Left Volos early this morning. We're all a little cranky due to the lack of sleep last night. We head north to a group of villages high in the mountains. I had spotted a monastery in one of the villages and suggested we check it out.
Stopped in a village called Makrinista. The streets are very small and packed with interesting arts and crafts shops. Several of the merchants sell flavored honey, a specialty of the area. Purchase a few trinkets and hop back in the car.
Continued north through Larissa and decide not to stop. We're now in a hurry because we realize that we are nearing Mount Olympus, home of the Gods. We stop for lunch in a village called Litohoro at the base of the mountain. The view of Mount Olympus is incredible, it's easy to see why the Gods would want to live here. After lunch we drive up the mountain on a partially paved road until we can go no further. The temperature at this altitude has dropped by about 25 degrees. The peak of the mountain is obscured by clouds, but the view is fantastic.
Back on the road, we continue heading north. We stop in a town called Dio to view some ancient ruins. The ruins of Dio turn out to be the best we see the whole time we are in Greece. This site has only recently been discovered. The area is still being excavated and new discoveries are being made every day. We are able to walk down roads that the ancient Romans built centuries ago. A must see for any visitor to northern Greece.
We continue on to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. After spending the last few days in smaller towns and villages, we decide we would rather spend the night somewhere outside of Thessaloniki and decide to continue through.
Just to the southeast of Thessaloniki, we find a nice little town called Nea Kallikratia. We secure a few rooms at one of the local hotels. After passing our luggage through the lobby window, we head down to the waterfront for dinner.