Kavala, Greece: A curious thing happened as I progressed across Northern Greece. Greece finally seduced me. Maybe I’ve had one salad too many, but I’ve gone Greek. I realized no one else in this country is in a hurry, certain angry dogs excepted. So I decided to not hurry through an unhurried place. I’ve slowed down to enjoy the moment and the place, and to try to get to know Greece as it really is.
I am also struck that every day here feels like Sunday. It seems that shops in Northern Greece are always closed, but the cafes are full. I’ve learned that many stores in this country close at 3:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. No wonder the country is in so much debt; they just can’t afford this unproductive lifestyle in an economy that now has to compete globally. Presently it’s a very different situation in Athens than what I observe in Northern Greece. In Athens there is a general strike; thousands of people are on the streets. The city is paralyzed. Here’s the latest from today’s New York Times:
Today’s coastal ride into the likable port city of Kavala is my most enjoyable yet in Greece, pedaling through sun-drenched olive- and grape-growing country. I arrived in Kavala, a city that dates from the 14th century, very early in the afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to explore the city. I visited yet another castle, and watched from my al fresco dinner table as the fishing boats prepare to go out for the night’s work.
Day 75: Asprovalta — Kavala, Greece
Distance: 86.14 kilometers
Ascent: 185 meters
Weather: A very comfortable 24 degrees centigrade in the morning, and a very toasty 32 degrees centigrade in the afternoon. At least in that heat the dogs feel like sleeping rather than chasing me.
Terrain: Mildly hilly and coastal, through olive and grape territory
Countdown to Istanbul:
Remaining Days: 7
Remaining distance: ~ 515 kilometers
TransEuropa 2011 Trip Summary:
Distance: 5,340.92 kilometers
Ascent: 38,091 meters
Countries: 15: Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece
Incidents: 6: flat tires on Days 45, 53 and 56; police reprimand on Day 2; two dog chases on Day 71