Valia Kalda

After our work in the Smolikas Mountain range Hakan, Paul and I traveled from Samarina to Krania, a small village in the near the Pindus National Park, more specifically Valia Kalda, where our next site would be.  We spent hours navigating up and down washed out logging trails to get to our destination which was at the top of Mt. Latouaka 1,720 meters.  This area proved to be slightly more difficult because of the recent logging.  It was hard to find old trees worth coring, and the ones we found didn’t prove to be all that old, however some of the dead wood collected appeared to be quite old and could make for a decent chronology.

We stayed for two nights in a wonderful Bulgarian Hotel which was mushroom themed…a little weird but the food was good and the woman who took care of us (we called her mom) was a saint.  This made it a little awkward when I broke the wooden bathroom door and tried to repair it on my own. We moved to another lovely hotel in the same village this one owned by the mayor and his wife.  We spent another two days there before we packed up and headed to Thessaloniki.  Here Paul decided it was the perfect place to change the oil, so after about an hour of banging around with the wrong tools we left covered in oil and sweat.  Hakan suggested we head for the Swedish Institute in Kavala where Swedish scientists and artists studying Greece could stay and have a place to work.  After a total of 12 hours of driving we reached our destination at around 10:30pm.  Today and tomorrow are rest days before we head to Athens to get the truck looked at and then to our next site near Sparta.  I’m writing from a beautiful balcony overlooking the Mediterranean, it’s about 80F with a slight breeze from the east.  Life doesn’t get much better than this…

View from the roof of the Swedish Institute in Kavala Greece.

View from the roof of the Swedish Institute in Kavala Greece

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