I simply cannot believe our summer holidays are nearly over and that, most likely, my next blog post will be written from our cosy Norn Irish home.
I still have so much to write and tell you about Greece! I had promised you another post on the Thessaloniki cuisine, I had planned a series on the four of the biggest cities in Greece(which we all visited this summer: Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra and Ioannina) and I am sorry I haven’t been able to find the time to write it all out. I will keep some of the excitement and magic in safe keeping, to be written at a later date.
I need to thank you all, friends, colleagues and blogging community members who have followed our Greek odyssey this summer on Instagram, cheering us on, leaving the lovelist of comments and liking our pictures. The things I could not include on the blog are there, all graphically and esthetically pleasing, do stop by and have a wee look!
The three words that sprang to mind as I was trying to compress Metsovo into an all encompassing description for you are grounded, balanced and hospitable.
Both the stone structures and the people of the village, most likely influenced by the character of the gorgeous mountains that surround them and by the blessed temperate weather(this was the only place in Greece where my brain could think clearly and did not feel congested by the heat,lol!) present the qualities mentioned above.
We have had the pleasure to benefit from them first hand in our beautiful accommodation, the Arhontiko luxury boutique hotel, Metsovo.
As usual, we had booked our stay via Booking.com as the offers as a genius member are usually hard to beat. We paid for our family room with a four pillar bed(and extra bed for Emma), a hydromassage bath (which little miss put to good use and which would came in very handy in the winter after a hard sky session in the resort nearby!) and its own fireplace 47 GBP per night. The price involves a beautiful breakfast which includes bread baked in the house(we fell asleep every night to the comforting aroma of village bread baked downstairs), local cheese and sausage, fresh eggs and a large variety of pies, jams and honey. The coffee machine makes some awesome cappucinos but if you are after a frappe, the lovely ladies in the kitchen will wisk it out for you in no time.
We did visit a bit og the local area while we were here. We took a short car trip further up the mountain to see the lake of Aaos springs yesterday
and we did visit the town of Ioannina at both dusk and dawn to enjoy its charming beauty and see the vestiges of its Ottoman past
As I write this post, sat into our hotel’s balcony, I can hear the chiming bells of the Agios Nikolaos monastery, the muffled sound of sheep bells on the mountain in front and I can smell the mountain air and the resin of the pine trees. And it does my soul good, to realise that the world still very much has its own equilibrium and continues to turn on its axis and it gives me hope.
Hope that one day, our shattered by loss lives will find their own equilibrium and balance again and will “smell” beauty and iradiate grounded calm.
I will leave you with the image to inspire you as I prepare to head out for a last night of feasting onsaganaki, melted local cheese and kokoretsi, grilled meat enveloped in sheep entrails, a local delicatessen!