Parga Greece. Tuesday 28th June 2011

Tue 28 Jun 2011 17:01
39:16.6N 20:23.5E
We had to escape from Eastern Greece.  We had a ridiculous night in a campsite in Kavala, the beer was 4 quid for a small bottle and the campsite was expensive and had no toilet paper.  Music was booming out from 5-8pm, then we breathed a sigh of relief when it stopped.  But No!! It all started up again much louder at 10 and went on till 3am, horrible!  So we left and drove all the way across Greece on the Egnatos Odos highway which has more tunnels through mountains and bridges over gorges than you would believe.  Wonder where all that money came from?
We have been well and truly vegging and doing the summer holiday bit here in Parga, it’s lovely.  Brother in law Ian, & Wyn, told us about it, and we came to meet them here (thanks Ian and Wyn, lovely to spend time with you, and a great choice).
We’ve done some nice summer holiday stuff with Ian and Wyn, walks over the cliff, tavernas, a water taxi driven by a lunatic, and a more sedate but really interesting boat trip that took us inside caves (with some expert boat driving).  Some of the folks we met on the trip are in the photos.  I’ve spent lots of afternoons painting (one example enclosed).
This morning we attempted to walk up a mountain but were beaten by the spiky Mediterranean vegetation and turn your ankle rocks, and the heat.  We lost the motivation a bit after walking through a rubbish tip, high up in the hills, through olive groves and pastures punctuated by dumped plastic and bituminous oil pits.  They’re a scruffy lot, the Greeks!
All that aside, Parga is in an amazingly beautiful and (mostly) unspoilt area called Epiros, Northwest Greece.  The Ionian sea is to the west and the Pindos mountain range stretches across most of this province.  Here King Pyrrhus (319-272 BC) clashed with Rome, and defeated them at Ausculum, but with massive losses.  He thus became the founder of the term “a pyrrhic victory”.  There is a castle on a pointy hill above Parga, known as Ali Pasha’s castle.  In the 1800s when the Turks were in charge, Ali, an Albanian, siezed much of Albania and western Greece, and assisted Greek revolutionaries in 1821, before the Ottoman Turks assassinated him in 1822.
Epiros was split in the Balkan wars of 1912-13, when a newly created Albania got a chunk.  In 1940, Mussolini’s invasion of Greece was repelled in Epiros, where there was massive communist resistance to the Nazi occupation.  Later, in the Greek civil war of 1944-49, the communists were ousted.
Our dinner has come so that’s all for now.