Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 38 (Greece): Vevi - Partheni (Greek party and sleeping in a priest’s house)

today’s distance: 112km
total distance:
riding time: 6h

The morning was beautiful, I was on the bike early and had pedaled roughly 55km by 11am. The hilly countryside was beautiful, green pastures and rolling hills (sloping in an upward fashion). Welcome to northern Greece. But what goes up … as I am typing this, I am back to sea level pretty much. The scenery gorgeous and traffic light (5 cars during the first hour or so), I passed two lakes on decent and sometimes not so decent roads. But riding was pure joy.


I arrived in Edessa and finally figured out that it was May 1. I had wondered about the lack of trucks on the roads, but the Socialist Party’s little gettogether on a square in Edessa was the confirmation that I needed apart from every store being closed. The waterfalls were a rather quick affairs, nice but not overly spectacular.

The ride in the afternoon was similarly unspectacular… uninspiring farmland on both sides and strong headwinds made me want to eat mileage, but the wind made for some slow meal. But the sun was shining. And the Greek farmer I wanted to buy some cherries from wouldn’t let me pay for them. Just waved me off after asking where I was from. I eventually called it a day and figured that it would be better to head away from the main road. I ended up in a little town by the name of Partheni.

There, I asked for a place to pitch the tent in a tiny supermarket and everyone agreed that I should go to the church. I looked confused. Not sure that would be my first thought if someone approached me in Germany about this. I did anyway, three schoolgirls leading the way. One of them talked with the priest who eventually came out and talked to me, but quickly said that I should come in and join the party they were having that night. Pater Seraphim was wonderful, offering me a shower and letting me be part of the meal later on. Freshly roasted lamb and grilled sausages with fresh salad and feta cheese. It was perfect. Pater Seraphim is from Syria, studying for his Ph.D. In Thessaloniki and introduced me to everyone and translated all along. Very kind person. Then three Greeks with perfect German come in succession, one of them having worked for Mercedes Benz, the other in Bamberg, the third in Duesseldorf.

I figured that I would be sleeping on the couch, but to my surprise Pater Seraphim put me in his room and I couldn’t really object, he was pretty much out the door by then. Slightly surprised, I spent the night in his quarters.


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