Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 26

After breakfast and another two loads of laundry we finally set off at 11:45am to find an old village in the mountains. Mists hung low over the hills and we climbed on switchbacks for over an hour before stopping at a mountain refuge. Seven of our group went for a wet walk in the woods while John and I hunkered down in a smokey den of mountain men with a jug of mountain tea and a game of tavli.

The mountain men's den

When they returned we continued our journey up and down winding roads, over bailey bridges, gradually getting higher and higher until we reached the Monastery of Kipina, built in 1212 with a pendent bridge that can be raised to close the monastery from the rest of the world.

It remains a construction mystery!

At the end of the road we arrived at Kalarites, an old village with a recorded population of 71, although we were told that there are less than one dozen who live here throughout the year.

In the local cafe we met Napoleon, the owner of the cafe that has continued to serve locals for 140 years. Napoleon and his wife returned to the village 22 years ago to continue his family's tradition of serving delicious local food. The raki was amazing!

This beautiful creature was spotted on the path as we left the village.

We returned to the cottage in low clouds and rain around 8pm. A short round of Saskatchewan Rummy before heading for bed.

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