Crete Pilgrimage 2016 - Day 24

Greece - Platamon and the Hilltop Monasteries at Meteora


The mountains of Olympus stretch east almost to the coast, blocking travel north and south. There is a very narrow coastal strip that has long been recognised as a natural defensive line, with Platamon Castle looking over the land to the north and south. Here the New Zealand Division was able to mount a rear-guard action in 1941, but the German forces were able to get some of their tanks over the rough hills, forcing the New Zealanders out.

From Platamon we travelled south and then west into the heart of Greece to visit the isolated hilltop monasteries at Meteora. We stayed the niught at a nearby hotel before travelling on to Athens.

Leaving the Dion Palace in the early morning
Travelling south with Mt Olympus close to the west
Platamon Castle from the road
Turtles in the grass
The entrance gate
The octagonal tower
The castle from the air with the tower bottom left
The wall of the castle
Looking south along the coast
A snake??
No, a legless lizard...!
Steps up to the castle rampart
Roof tiles stacked in geometric patterns
Looking north - the view the New Zealand tropps had in 1941 as the German armour approached them
A more pleasant scene today

The hilltop monasteries at Meteora

From Platamon we travelled

The turnoff to Neraida and lunch.
The local church
View of the lake looking towards the dam and power station
The Balconi Cafe, one of many looking out over the lake
Lunch with a view
Where we dined
Or just a flop!
Back on the coach and across the bridge!
Heading towards Mt Olympus
The road climbs up through the saddle
Ktima Bellou Farm Hotel
The village of Agios Dimitrios
Entering the village of Foteina on the northern flank of Mt Olympus
We stopped in the middle of Foteina to discuss events
where we were joined by a local man who remembered the New Zealand soldiers from 1941
Then it was on to our hotel, the Dion Palace.
Then it was on to our hotel, the Dion Palace.
Then it was on to our hotel, the Dion Palace.

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Last updated: 31/05/2017