Monday, March 12, 2007

[Edited 13-03] Prespa Lakes

Instead of going one week ago, we went to the Prespa Lakes this weekend. Mieke had taken care of the renting of the cars. We would go with a group of 9 people and the two French guys (Frankie and Alex) would drive. The others were not allowed to drive yet, or didn't want to drive as the traffic in Greece is quite dangerous (like Egypt for example...). Marijn would have class until 12 o'clock, so we would leave at 6 o' clock in the afternoon, because in that way we would only have to pay the rent for 2 days (until sunday closing time).

So.... at 7:30 pm we finally left the Matsi house. For once we didn't have to wait for some girls, but for 2 boys (John and Ultan).
First we went to Kozani. According to Frankie it was a nice place, where 4 persons could also sleep in an appartment of his friend. The other 5 have slept in a hotel, which was actually a very nice one. I was surprised!
However, because we could not find the way as someone did not guide very well, we ate dinner at 10:30, and I was in the hotel at 1:30. The rest of the group decided to have another drink, but I already almost fell asleep during dinner, so I decided to stay in the hotel.
The next day we did not leave earlier than 1:30 or 2, as the guys had gone to bed way too late...
First we went to Kastoria, which also seemed to be a nice city, but I couldn't actually see why. It was a Greek city like the others I've seen. Anyway, we have eaten lunch/dinner/breakfast, whatever you want to call it, in a restaurant, where we've also decided that we would go to the Prespa Lakes immediately, so we didn't have to drive the next day anymore.

So we went back in the car again at 6:30, leaving Kastoria and on our way to the Prespa Lakes. After (again) some bad guiding of our dear John (he is really the worst navigator ever), we arrived at the Lakes at (what would it be) I guess 11 o'clock. There we had reserved some rooms, where we could drop our stuff. No dinner this time, but a lot of cookies, chips and a lot of beer (for the others). I went to bed at 1:30 or 2, after I tried to learn some poker. Unfortunately, I still don't know how to play it as there was no clear explanation (in my opinion, of course).

The next day we had our breakfast in a taverna next to the hotel. Of course only the girls (and Alex) were awake at that time, it took another hour before the rest of the guys came in.
When the guys were done as well we went with two boats on the lake to see some rock paintings and churches. The guy of the boat I was in was going way too fast! We truly raced across the lake; it was a bumpy ride! And it was sooo cold. And the man didn't tell anything. I wish I had been in the other boat, because that man has told a lot (such as: the lakes are 35 km wide, and 85 km long. The midst of the lake is 50 m deep, etc.) Also Levinia was allowed to navigate the boat for a while.
The weather was still grey and cloudy (as it has been all weekend) and therefore we couldn’t look very far, which is really a shame, because then it would have been so much more beautiful. We visited a small church and after that we rushed back in the boat.
Back in the village, we made a little walk through it and saw a goat farm. Those little goats were so cute!! They were running like crazy, jumping up and down and the farmer allowed us to come in; that was really nice. Some goats were so brutal that they tried to eat you(r scarf, jacket...) It kinda looked as if we were in the Alps with all the goats, cows and dogs.
When we were back at the taverna, where our cars were, we saw a puppy and we played with him for a while and the others made some pictures. The children of the taverna were watching us. When we got up to leave, one little boy came to us with a paper on which was written: "Do you want the buy the dog? It costs 20 euro." They wanted to sell the dog!
Finally, at 16.30 we left again because the cars had to be back at the rental service at 20.00. It wouldn’t be a problem to arrive there in time, according to the guys (again...). However, again reality turned out to be different; bad road signs, bad navigation, no listening to the girls. The car I was in had also to drop off John in some village in the middle of nowhere. And of course, John did not know where to go, so it took us an extra 30 minutes (of even longer). So we did not arrive in time.
It was an unforgettable trip ...

Alex, Levinia and me in the first restaurant, we went for some food the first night

The churches we were allowed to visit on the boat trip

That's all the pictures for now, I have to put my own on the computer

(Thanks to Marie, I took some of here story ;-) )

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