20th May 2014 Ioannina to Papigo, Central West Greece

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Once again we enjoyed the spectacular breakfast at the Metropolis Hotel before our departure for our next destination. After goodbyes were said and promises made of returning in the future, we departed Ioannina and stopped for a brief visit at the Greek Wax Museum nearby. We also visited the ancient  site of Dodoni  21 kms south west of the town. Here we took some time to stop and visit the magnificent ancient Theatre of Dodoni which dates back to the 3rd century BC.  From there we drove 50 kms north to Papigo which is a village in the mountainous area of Zagoria. The scenery during the journey was absolutely spectacular. The natural beauty of the mountainous landscape, with it’s deep gorges and snow capped mountains were certainly a feast for the eyes. One had to be extremely careful driving the narrow zigzag roads into the mountains. Fortunately we made a few stops on the way so we could take in the scenery without danger of driving off the road!! Finally on our arrival in Papigo we were pleasantly surprised by the unusual old stone houses of the small village. Driving through the narrow stone alleys and then finally at the end of the town on the hill, we arrived at our accommodation for the night. What an amazing position Papavangelou, our hotel had overlooking the mountains and the small unique village. We were pleased the hotel resembled the old village stone houses and to our surprise our self contained accommodation was large, comfortable and had the best views imaginable. On our arrival we were warmly welcomed by mine host George who gave us information on the village and made suggestions for our evening meal at one of the local restaurants. Once settled in, we met two friendly and interesting couples from Israel staying in rooms nearby. Avi & Lea, Yael & Avraham were spending part of their holidays touring mainland Greece. After we spent a couple of hours strolling around the small village we returned to the hotel to freshen up and have a drink overlooking the mountains before going to dinner. On George’s recommendation we dined at the Astra Restaurant which was a pleasant 5 minute walk from our hotel. The restaurant only uses their own organic produce grown on site, which include all the meat, vegetables and fruit and also the grapes in the production of their house wine. Our new friends from Israel took our advice and also came and dined at the Astra. Towards the end of our meal an Australian visitor staying at the adjacent hotel arrived at the quiet little restaurant. It was interesting meeting Nikola who now abides in Rome!

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