During October I’ve had a really nice time on a long weekend at Ioannina city of Greece and finally I’ve made the time to make a post about it! It’s been a month (plus) now that I have so much work to do that I think my blue flamingo is feeling very lonely…however is always in my mind, I’m mentally preparing interesting posts to present them to you someday!
This one is about this marvelous city that I’m definitely proposing of visiting! It highlights the tradition in such a chic way, offering very nice strolls at the lake, at the old market, the traditional coffee and wine/tsipouro spots where you can warm yourself and your heart with the right company. And of course, starting from Ioannina you can explore the Zagoria villages and the mountain which is very very beautiful.
To better understand the culture and fully get in the mood of this place you should hear some traditional epirus music, I adore it! One of my favorites is this: Xechorismata by Petroloukas Chalkias.
Or a contemporary aspect of it, the Villager of Ioannina city band.
I really believe these 2 aspects of music is very characteristic of the city vibes you can’t catch by photos only. I propose to hear them while you read the post if you are into it! 🙂
Unfortunately, we had only 3 days for all, but I think we saw a lot to love the city. The first thing anyone thinks on hearing about Ioannina is the lake! Such a serene scenery and beauty of nature especially on this time of year where the tree leaves have all these hues of green-orange-yellow…They say that deeper on winter, the lake is covered by a mysterious mist and it can be even more beautiful! We enjoyed that stroll so much that definitely I could say people there are very lucky. It’s also a great place for photographers, we even saw a famous one(as we’ve been told) photo shooting his little daughter among fallen leaves, where she was doing the same at her dad with her phone! Cute, huh?
Along the shore – despite the birds and the people to look at – there are some sculptures to admire that I liked a lot. By local, famous or not (to me) artists contribute to the evolution of aesthetic level and criteria of the people. I think it’s very nice having pieces of art out in the open, for every people to get familiar with it.
As I told you another characteristic of this city you shouldn’t miss is cute cafes and small taverns where you drink local tsipouro (a very strong alcohol drink) with tasty food. In any food situation I am incapable of taking photos, it’s official! I had my mind though of capturing some moments/corners from a very cute vintage cafe where we had our morning coffee one day. It’s called “To diko mas waltz” which means “our waltz” and served coffee and more in a well preserved old house, with small rooms and old furniture. I liked the “love of books” touch at the entrance a lot.
Another highlight of the city is the Its Kale hill where the Turk commander, pasha, has his palace and facilities. From there you can have a really nice view of the lake and the city and of course learn about this era. We visited a new museum of silverware that had a huge development in the area. This museum was actually very interesting both for the exhibits and the displaying ways of them and for the renovation of such a building. I was looking at the exhibit boards and then at the lighting methods or the way they used the building structure. A must see for architects!
Also, an excursion nearby is a must! We went towards Aristi village and at its exit we stopped at the river. You can see by the photos that it was amazing! The colors of nature, the hearing of the water and the feeling of your footings at the moisty earth was very refreshing. There were also some people that were doing rafting etc it would’ve been awesome.
As you can imagine it was the joy of the photographer! A lot of desktop wallpaper choices!
Continuing from there towards Papigko villages we stopped at some water ponds called Ovires. It’s a magical place where mountain water passes by big stones, sculptured by it, creating small and larger water ponds. During summer people swim there, I don’t even imagine how cold the water must be!
The scenery there is very imposing: big mountains around you, small villages underneath them, Vikos gorge and the river whenever you can see it. Leaving Ovires we had this view in front of us! And at this mountain foot was the Small Papigko village where we stopped for lunch and exploration.
The first thing we saw after we left our car was this scenery below…Like a fairy tale. This plane tree was like a magnet to us…we took several photos!
And then we went to eat something because after all these our stomach was complaining clearly! Lamb ribs at a tavern’s yard compensated us! 😉
It was such a great 3days vacation yet very tiring because it’s very far from Athens. I definitely recommend to have more days there, to have a car and to explore the mountain and the magical nature/villages of the area. It’s really beautiful at any season!