First Impressions of Atalanti, Greece - en-route to Meteora


After a much needed afternoon nap, we had time to explore the town of Atalanti with its backdrop of wooded hills. The town is little more than the main square, overlooked by a church which is attractively illuminated by blue light at night, and a fairly lengthy high street; crammed full of banks, shops, and other essential businesses, from which numerous side streets lead to residential areas with a colourful variety of houses; some with ornate wrought iron balconies. We noticed wrought iron craft of a similar design all around the town and presume that it was the work of a local craftsman. The sound of noise and cars in the high street was soon replaced by the clucking of chickens as we walked away from the town centre and up into the hills. Many residents enjoy the facilities of the town yet retain a smallholding with a chicken run, goats and sheep. We encountered several scraggy cats on the prowl, raiding the large uncovered wheelie bins, but they melted away on our approach.

There appeared to be various trails up into the hills that we could have explored if we had more time, and were not just passing through. All of the people we stopped and spoke to understood a certain amount of English; young people especially, which did make me a little lazy about using the phrase book. We stopped at one of the local general grocers to buy drinks and snacks for our journey the following day. When in Mediterranean countries, we always purchase the peach juice or nectar; the quality is so much better than most of the cartons of fruit juice on sale in the UK. Tap water is safe and pleasant to drink in Greece, with no chemical aftertaste. We noticed a marked rise in the cost of living in Greece since the introduction of the Euro; it's no longer a cheap destination as far as food is concerned, although petrol, transport, and certain other services are still considerably cheaper than in the UK.