Wednesday, September 10, 2008

“What’s your name, Odysseus” 10/9/08 Day 55

I was so tired yesterday that I fell asleep around 7pm. I was out and didn’t move until about 6am. I fell a little better but my thighs are still sore. I’m able to gingerly get down the steps here at the hotel and this is the second day after the climb. I feel I need to leave tomorrow in order to stay on schedule. I’m going to go on a scouting mission to the train station to see how hard it will be to get to the Meteora area. I fill like I can find out more about getting up into Croatia through Albania by bus from over there on the west side of Greece. It seems difficult to get any information here in Katerini.

So I show up at this train station that looks like it came out of the 1930’s. I took a cab out to it for 5 Euros which was alright. It was hard to find anyone to help me because of the language but soon the station manager came out to talk to me. He was a nice guy but spoke just little English. I asked him how I could get to Meteora. He said “Kalambaka.” “No” I said, and then I remembered that on the map I had seen that Kalambaka was close to Meteora but I couldn’t tell how far. I had a poor map I think. So I said “Sure, Kalambaka will do.” I felt like a tourist as he gave me this funny look. He looked me over and said pointing at me, “What’s your name, Odysseus” I started to laugh, then it hit me what he said. This is going to be more difficult then I thought. He turned away from me while yelling at a couple of employees and got on the phone. I waited about 15 minutes before he turned back to me. “You must be here at 4:50am” he said. “4:50am” he said again. Alright then what, I thought. “Go get ticket” he said while pointing to the ticket clerk. So after all this and 17 Euros I had a ticket and some kind of instructions about switching trains somewhere. I thought I will find out more when I get on the train. As I walked away I thought about it and I wasn’t even sure what just happened but I guess I’m leaving tomorrow. I know one thing though and that is I need a better map.

I grabbed a cab out in front for 3 Euros and headed back to Katerini and the hotel for instructions on how to get to Dion. It wasn’t very hard, I went to a small bus area and caught the right bus for once and away I went. Took about 45 minutes and I was there. Not a very popular place but it was in the off season. I thought the weather was fine though, a little warm but not to bad.

Dion I was told was a small ruin but I was impressed with the size and the fact that I could walk just about anywhere. (Take a look at the pictures and you will see) The Museum was closed but that’s alright. I need to just walk for awhile. It turned out to be a great afternoon. There is quite a lot of evidence here for the theory that Constantinos has that the Athenians who wanted to get close to Zeus and the mountain must have come by ship or boat to Dion first. He is thinking that they would come to Dion and hang for a few days then trek up to the lower peaks and make offerings or whatever without actually going to the top. There is a map in the entrance building with a story about the Macedonian king before King Philip. (Alexander’s Father) I can’t remember his name but he did climb up the mountain through the valley where Prionia is. Somewhere up there he and many others were hit by a flash flood and killed. This is how Philip became King it says. This king and his entourage were killed while going to pray to the Gods the story says. Who knows for sure but it helps the theory. This area is such an exciting place. A person could spend years here just traveling to the historical sites around this mountain. This is the area where Alexander grew up.

I got back to my room about 5pm and started to pack. Damn, I have too much stuff. Everything I have I need though. In fact there are several items that are in the ‘Wheely Beast” that went by air to Prague. I really have no cold weather gear at all except a hooded jacket and hat.

I’m ready to move on though, I feel like I’m staying here to long. I don’t know why either. I feel I just have to go.