Always be prepared, especially on trips to remote places in Greece


Magnificent mountain scenes north west of MeteoraUnfortunately, at this point, I felt an urgent call of nature, and as luck would have it we had driven past several small villages and were now a fair distance from the next village on the map. The nearest place was the hamlet of Malakasio which was about 5 km down in the valley.

On the way down we spotted a hawk sitting on a tree by the edge of the road, beside banks covered in yellow flowers. We passed a section of road that had disappeared down the hillside. This subsided road was fortunately marked but if you've visited remote areas of Greece before you will probably have scary tales to tell of sections of road that have just disappeared leaving a sheer vertical drop.

Side of the road washed away by a stream

We arrived at the wrong time in the village. Everything was closed and shuttered for the afternoon siesta and not a soul in sight. The centre of the village was marked by a square with a church on one side. By now I was beginning to feel quite desperate. We couldn't find a public toilet or any public building open anywhere. Steps across the square, opposite the church, led up to a cafe and local store which we tried, but found locked. Fortunately, we noticed an open door adjoining the cafe which led to the toilet; another hole in the floor variety, but sparkling clean with, unusually for Greece, a blue flush. They're probably still wondering to this day who left them money on the table outside the shop. I shall forever be grateful to the owners of that small village shop. The moral of this little story is 'always be prepared', especially when travelling to remote places in the Greek countryside.