If you ever get a chance to visit the Halkidiki region of Greece, pack your bags and go! The region, although covering a large inland area, is best known for the "Three Fingers" -- three peninsulas that jut out into the ocean. We visited Cassandra, the first peninsula, as it was the closest to Thessaloniki but we heard the other two were less populated and had more wild terrain. Cassandra has gorgeous beach/mountain scenery, a little similar to the Monterey, CA coastline. We drove from village to village making a tour of the entire finger. Rolling hills and wide-open greenland give way to sheer cliffs; mountains covered with lavender and other wildflowers become dense pine forests. It's amazing. Nestled in between all of the natural beauty are villages, beachside communities and farms - and lots and lots of hotels and villas. We spent a good chunk of the day in Afitos, on the eastern coast of the peninsula. We spent some time at the beach where D collected rocks for her burgeoning global collection. Unfortunately, the water was take-your-breath-away, turn-your-feet-numb, only-Germans-swimming, freezing cold. So we dipped our toes in, but no way was this Florida girl going in! I hope we can go back when the weather warms up a bit, but everyone says the busy season starts in June and I'm not sure I want to battle the rest of Europe who come to visit as well.
After (another) delicious meal in Afitos, including the Best Vanilla Milkshake Ever for D, we continued our drive, stopping along the way to take pictures, sightsee and check out the beaches. Then back to Thessaloniki for some rest in our comfy hotel room and to luxuriate in one last steaming hot shower from a real showerhead before bedtime.
The drive back to Pristina was uneventful, except for us getting lost at exactly the same point we did on the way in and having to turn around at the same old tollbooth. It was a bit of a shock returning to Kosovo, and D unfortunately developed a bit of a chest cold seemingly overnite. So now I await a care package from the States with some good old cough medicine.
M came back to a frantically busy week. Some colleagues from his Firm were in town for a series of meetings that lasted pretty much all day Tuesday and Wednesday, including a reception that M helped to coordinate and organize.
Between work and D's cold it doesn't look like we'll get to travel this weekend, but maybe we'll get together with some of the other expats here.