Metsovo: down by the riverside … a really long way down

I was equally dazzled by the sun on Sunday morning when I swung the curtains open to the balcony doors as on Saturday morning and the sky was again cloudless blue.

This time I didn’t revise my plan for an amble down by the river but set out after breakfast into warmer air than any morning since I have been in the Pindus.

First port of call was the fruit shop to stock up on bananas.  As I ambled down the steep main street I was struck by the number of people walking up in their ‘Sunday Best’, obviously on their way back from morning service at the church in the town centre.  As I got closer to the main square it was clear that it was humming with life.  It seemed that about half the entire population had been in church.  Some were just standing around chatting to friends.  Others were ensconced in coffee shops.  A number of more elderly ladies were in traditional dress with very colourful additions to the basic black.  It was obvious that here in Metsovo more people were devout Sunday worshippers than anywhere else I have been in Greece.

The direct route to the fruit shop was through the large enclosed area outside the church and through an archway into the street beyond but it was crowded with emerging churchgoers so I walked around the outside.  In the open area opposite the fruit shop there was a ‘Sunday market’ selling flowers and plants which was thronged with people.

Sunday market

I was heading down to the river and a couple of monasteries there but I didn’t realise quite how far down it was.  The path zig-zags down some 250 metres below the town.  It should have been obvious how far down it is because the new motorway viaduct crosses the valley at a high level and that itself is a long way below the town.

One of the new viaducts seen from the path down to the river

Basically I spent the day mooching around down by the river, around a couple of monasteries and climbing up to a village on the opposite side where I had a frappé before ambling back.  After walking 10 miles up and along the ridge on Friday and 18 miles yesterday I thought an easier walk today would be good but in the end I covered 12 miles with almost as much height gain.

Two main things struck me.  First was the vast amount of running water compared with what I am used to in the Dodecanese.  Second, the completely different style of old monastery buildings, based on different materials and climate.

Around here some of the churches have old frescoes on the outside

Theotokos Monastery

I love these random stone-tiled roofs

Monastery of Agios Nikolaos

In 2006 an art exhibition was staged partly in the vineyards of Agios Nikolaos Monastery. This one remains, the discs reflecting the light according to the angle you look at it, in this case the blue of the sky.

….. and in this case the green of the vegetation

Water features figure largely in the grounds around Agios Nikolaos Monastery

One of the many waterfalls on the river

Old watermill

Detail of waterfall

….. and another

Short blog today because an early start Monday as I catch an early bus to Ioannina, my next stopping off point.

This entry was posted in Art, Greece and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s