We had a four-day break this week visiting Sterea Ellada, mainland Greece. We stayed in Galaxidi which is absolutely delightful, spent some time in Arachova and visited Delphi, something I had not done since I was a child.
On our way we saw the peaks of Parnassus covered in snow. I had not seen snow in Greece since my late teens when I used to go to Neurokopi which is as far north as you can get. The purpose of my visits then was to see my first husband who had been conscripted to the army and this was his first post. It was a bleak place in the middle of nowhere and bitterly cold - that was the only time in my life when I got chilblains.
We had excellent weather for our four-day trip: sunny days and temperatures of around 22oC and the snowy peaks afforded an excellent contrast
as did all the wildflowers that lined the road.
It's spectacular countryside and the road wound around one mountain peak after another
as we climbed higher and higher.
Churches of all sizes provided distraction on our way.
The first sighting of Arachova took our breath away.
Perched on the southern slope of Mount Parnassus, at 970m above sea level, above the small river Pleistos, it has become a tourist resort for people who want to go skiing.
Ragged, majestic, the views from the top are awesome
and each valley
is followed by another.
Our next stop was the village of Delphi. We stood at one of the several plateaux that the village is built on and looked down on the dramatic gorge that runs through Parnassus
and which leads down to the sea
The drive down the mountain was breathtaking
my basic camera cannot do justice to the depth of the view. The whole area leading down to the sea is a vast elaionas, an olive tree field
One of the first things we saw when we reached the sea was this fish farm
Twin round islands, with a house built right in the centre of one of them
red poppies and other wildflowers lined the road
The scene changed completely once we reached the bauxite mine and everything was a deep red
a view of the mine once we reached the other side of the bay
and again, after the next bay
Another dramatic change once we reached Galaxidi
but this is the subject of another post.