A quick stop in Athens to buy gas coupons and a barbecued chicken was enough big city culture for us.The city was so crowded and polluted that although we within “sight” of the Acropolis, we didn’t really “see” this ancient landmark through the smog.
Traffic was nuts! Drivers had no compunction about leaving their lane to borrow part of ours if it was convenient for them. You had to have eyes in the front, back, and sides of your head to survive a drive through downtown Athens. I had placed the chicken on the console and we laughed later about how it tried to fly out the windshield after one good slam on the brakes.
But as we left the city, we relaxed and entered the next phase of our adventure. We would be leaving Greece in the next couple of days. Our first day’s travel northwards had us camping in a place that must have been very near to a famous battle near Lamia. I’m sure if I had dug up some of the ground I would have found swords and helmets from 2000 years ago. Luckily we were too tired for digging and instead spent our time slapping mosquitoes in this marshy area.
The next day brought us to a wonderful beach at Leptokaria. I stood in the water and was amazed that little zebra-striped fish the size that you’d find in a goldfish bowl, came to nibble at my feet. We didn’t swim there and maybe it’s just as well because Gary noticed a rather large jellyfish close to the beach.
The campsite was beautiful. Fresh seabreezes had kept the heat at a comfortable level, but when the wind picked up and sailboats offshore bounced up and down vigorously, we moved our camper away from the tall trees nearby.
On a long beach walk, we found a home-fashioned coffeepot, that must have been used either on a boat or by Greek campers. It had seen plenty of use for making the strong Greek coffee, but it had outlived its usefulness as a coffeepot. Too many tiny holes rendered it more useful as a strainer.
On the way back from our walk, we looked up just in time to see a large tree fall between a truck and its travel tent, right on the hitch. We gawked and gulped, stunned that this could have been us if we hadn’t moved, and thankful that no one was hurt.
I took it as a sign that we should move on the next morning and get out of Greece at last.
Our last image of Macedonia was of workers in a cotton field. I had never seen cotton growing and remembered this as a happy pastoral scene as we said goodbye to the south.