I love Greece! For me it is like paradise on earth and there are always new places to visit and magical corners to discover. Plastiras Lake is one of these places that leave everyone who visit stunned. The natural beauty is breath-taking all year long and the traditional villages and friendly locals guarantee an unforgettable experience.
This year, not only was I lucky enough to spend Easter with my family, but my friends and I went into new adventures; Mountain Biking and Acro Yoga!
Agrafa | Mesenikolas
Endless mountains only 20 minutes away from my home town, Karditsa. Our base was at Messenikolas, one of the most picturesque and historical villages of the Karditsa District near artificial Plastiras Lake. At an altitude of 700m above sea level and the foot of the Pindos Massive it produces excellent quality wine and tsipouro (traditional Greek spirit).
Our mountain biking video!
Slippers and knee-pads protected well the bike during the trip.
Unpacking and reassembling the bikes takes quite a while.
Can’t wait to go riding!
The locals were rather amused with our mountain biking adventure.
Mountain turtles are very common in Greece. Our guests from Latvia, though, had never seen one (since there are no mountains there) and were really excited to see quite a few during their trip.
Acro Yoga by Plastiras Lake.
One handstand a day, sends the doctor away | At Kryorema, Mesenikolas.
Mountain Biking and Acro Yoga (background); perfect combination!
I love our traditional village house made out of local stones. The village (Mesenikolas) still has many of these old houses standing. Not only they don’t disturb the beauty of the area but they add a nostalgic note.
Meteora, meaning ‘Suspended in the air’ in Greek, is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. In a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled in the 11th century onwards building twenty-four of these monasteries. Four of them still house religious communities and gather visitors from all over the world. The area is stunning and of course we couldn’t miss the opportunity to climb on one of the picks and do some Acro Yoga.
Meteora is a popular climbing destination.
Monastery fashion: to visit the religious areas the females need to wear long skirts as a sign of respect. The monasteries come to the rescue as they provide skirts to the ones wearing trousers or shorts. I’ve always been wondering where on earth do they find these weird fabrics.
The perfect way to end the day: house wine, Greek salad and Frappe (cold coffee). Couldn’t be any more Greek!
Colouring eggs: who doesn’t know of egg fights? Eggs are coloured red and the person with the strongest egg wins! It seems that in the UK you cannot buy the special powder to colour the eggs yourself. They do sell ready coloured eggs though. I guess they have special chickens laying eggs of various coulours hehehe.
Kokoretsi: looks rather strange when raw, tastes delicious when grilled!
Easter Sunday is a great celebration for the whole country. Families get together and almost every household roasts a whole lamb, a process that takes several hours, supervision and expertise. The feast takes almost the whole day with a lot of food, wine and dancing!
A bit of Acro Yoga while the lamb is getting ready.
Big family meal with the company of my beloved 94 year old grandma who sang and danced with us. The wine my family produced for the second year, organic, aromatic and in limited edition bottles kept us going for hours!
Plastiras Lake is a magical place with forests, in which as it is said “Fairies and the Sleeping Beauty found their shelter”. It is surrounded by the Agrafa mountains and is only a breath away from the city of Karditsa. A place for visitors looking for peace and serenity as well as those looking for adventure combining mountain and lake activities.The best destination for every season of the year!
Here is something I didn’t even know existed. A fire salamandra which, we later found out, is toxic; good thing no one touched it. I have to say, it’s a beautiful creature.
When people in Greece talk about MTB (mountain biking) they definitely don’t mean what we went there to do. Technical riding is still taking its baby steps especially in the area. The place did reward us, though, and I rediscovered my home place. A newly discovered MTB paradise!
Mountain biking is for boys and girls. All you need is some technical skills and quite a bit of stamina!
Pafsilipo park in the heart of the city of Karditsa is the home to many beautiful peacocks.
If you are lucky they might even let you touch them.
We like to enjoy our coffee. Greeks like to relax and chit chat at the coffee shops (cafeteria) for hours. You know that someone is not Greek (ksenos) when they drink their coffee within ten minutes!
Emergency! Some people will use the hazard lights to stop pretty much anywhere. The driver was in a shopping emergency situation so we had to wait for a bit. Greeks do have a strong sense of humor, though, so with a big smile and a friendly wave it all gets sorted out.
Snow during Easter!
Greece is typically a summer destination; for those not knowing any better that is! Greece is beautiful all year round and, yes, we have quite a few skiing resorts as there are mountains up to 2,000 meters high. Not only did we find snow at the Karamanoli Ski Centre, but during our stay (mid April) it snowed some more covering everything in a white veil.
Three happy, one grumpy; guess who doesn’t like the snow.
In the process of swapping shoes with my mom so that I could run on the snow! Can you tell who is wearing what?
Is it spring or is it winter?
Super riders! The guys just couldn’t get enough riding.
Do we really have to leave?
Travelling with bikes can be a rather tricky task. In many cases there was no way to move the big bike boxes the conventional way. Greeks, though, always find a solution and everyone is willing to help. On the way to the airport the taxi driver reassures that there is no problem and fits the luggage at the trunk in a special “arrangement”. Good bye Greece!!!