Our European Road Trip in a self build motorhome Continues!
Over the past three weeks, we had experienced sub zero temperatures driving around snow covered glaciers. In contrast, we’d sat on beaches in 40 degree heat. We had certainly seen a lot on our European Road Trip!
Our journey had taken us deep inside natural caves and to 2500 year old theatres. After three weeks and 3200 miles driving, we had finally arrived in Porto Heli. The reason for driving all the way from England to this small Greek town was to attend a family wedding.
Read on to find out about this amazing experience before continuing on our epic journey across Europe!
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European Road Trip in a self build motorhome: Day 21 [Total Miles: 3229]
We woke to the quiet hum and cool breeze of the air conditioner. Having mains power was certainly a luxury and made for a peaceful, cool night.
After a late breakfast, we headed to a nearby pebbly beach for some swimming. Luckily, we had the whole cove to ourselves! The water was warm and a thoroughly enjoyable location to spend the morning.
Once out of the water we dried off and made our way to the villa in which Erica’s family were staying for some lunch. We spent time chatting before returning to the van to sort through washing and generally get organised.
Once the van was tidy, we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. At 4pm, we headed to another nearby beach where we met up with more of the family and other wedding guests. Consequently, we were able to inflate the kayak once again and spend time splashing around in the beautiful sea! Furthermore, a beach side cafe meant we had ice cream to enjoy whilst paddling.
After several hours at the beach, we returned to the campervan for some food. Luckily we had enough food to invent dinner for ourselves and 4 guests.
Evening Drinks at a roof top bar
It was soon time to travel to another bar to meet yet more family for some drinks. Fortunately, we were offered a lift and so both Erica and I could enjoy some alcohol! Consequently, we spent the evening drinking wine and chatting in a beautiful roof top bar overlooking the church until around 2am. It was such a good evening that I didn’t have a chance to take any photographs!
Unfortunately when it came to returning to the van, we realised that there was only one taxi for the whole town. This is no exaggeration! As a result we had to take it in turns to travel back with every other guest from the party and didn’t get to bed until gone 3am.
European Road Trip in a self build motorhome: Day 22 [Total Miles: 3229]
Unsurprisingly, we both slept well and didn’t wake until almost lunch time! Today was the day of the wedding and likely to be another late night. Consequently, we did very little other than relaxing and reading in the shade.
Our day went quickly and soon it was time to get ready for the wedding. We arrived at the taverna at around 17:30 where we parked under a tree for some shade.
Time for the Wedding!
The venue was stunning, with a seating area on the shore of a sandy beach. Furthermore, candles lined the entire perimeter of the taverna and we couldn’t wait for it to get dark!
Soon, the bride arrived by speedboat accompanied by sounding horns of the boats across the bay. The whole arrival was like something out of a movie!
Once safely on land, we all gathered for the main ceremony which was held on a nearby hill at sunset. As the bride stepped onto dry land she was serenaded by guitar wielding musicians who led her to the flower covered archway where her groom was waiting.
After the ceremony, the couple headed out to sea for some photos, while the guests admired the sunset. Finally the happy couple entered the taverna to cheers from sparkler waving guests, before sitting to eat a delicious meal of fresh fish.
As darkness fell, the candles were lit, and the temperature dropped to a comfortable level. Soon it was time for the wedding speeches which were all well thought out and enjoyable.
Eventually it was time for the music to start. Luckily the groom had chosen the playlist which was outstanding! In true Greek Wedding tradition, we started dancing around midnight and continued all the way through to dawn!
European Road Trip in a self build motorhome: Day 23 [Total Miles: 3229]
Eventually, the the sun began to rise. Keen to continue partying, people began to move from the dance floor and into the sea! Obviously we had to join in and I thoroughly enjoyed floating around in the salty water at sunrise.
After several hours in the water, people began to disperse and make their way back to their villas. Luckily, Erica and I had the shortest commute as we had agreed to sleep in camper parked in the car park!
Our decision to park under the tree was wise and we were able to sleep in the cool air from the ceiling fan.
Luckily we both got several hours sleep and didn’t wake until mid afternoon. We first ate some lunch before walking back to the beach for another swim in the sea. Furthermore, lots of family and friends returned and joined us in the water.
Whilst we were swimming, a motorboat appeared from the distance and we realised that it was Erica’s parents! We climbed aboard and spent an hour motoring around the islands which was great fun and a nice treat. Thanks to Erica’s parents for this! Sadly, it was soon time to return to land and make our way back to the van.
After some more relaxing, we headed out to a restaurant in the nearby town of Costa. Luckily we had another sea view and Erica’s aunt very kindly treated all 34 of us to a delicious evening meal. Once again, thank you very much if you are reading this.
We had a very nice evening chatting and unsurprisingly it was another late night by the time we returned to the van for bed.
European Road Trip in a self build motorhome: Day 24 [Total Miles: 3383]
After a lay in, we went to join the family for breakfast in the villa. Sadly, everyone was heading home today and so they began packing. Consequently, we were given the contents of the fridge which we carefully packed into the camper.
Once we were fully packed, we decided to travel back to Nafplio for lunch along with some family members. Furthermore, we planned to visit Palamidi fortress which was closed on our previous visit!
Nafplio: Palamidi Fortress
The fortress was located high up on a hill behind Nafplio. Consequently, we decided to drive up rather than walk up the steep staircase from the town! Luckily, there was ample parking right by the entrance.
Once inside, we wandered around the spectacular ruins and were rewarded with stunning views across Napfplio. Fortunately the weather was hot with clear blue skies resulting in some beautiful photographs across the Argolic Gulf.
Sadly, some of Erica’s family needed to get to the airport and so we had limited time to explore. Consequently, we only managed to visit around half of the fortress before driving down into Nafplio for lunch. We had a nice meal on one of the small side streets, filling up on traditional Greek fare.
After lunch, it was time to say goodbye to the family and continue on our European Road Trip alone.
Our next destination was the Open Air Water-Power Museum in Dimitsana, around 70 miles East. Fortunately, the drive to Dimitsana took us through some beautiful countryside. I also found my new favourite road in Greece!
We eventually arrived at the car park of the Open Air Water Power Museum in Dimitsana. After paying the entrance fee of 4 Euros we began exploring. Fortunately, the museum had recently gained a significant amount of EU funding. Consequently, all of the information boards were new and included English translations!
We thoroughly enjoyed walking around the museum learning how water was used for a variety of purposes. Exhibitions covering Milling of flour, tannery and gunpowder manufacture were fascinating.
Monastery of Emialon
Soon we had explored the entire museum and made our way back to the main entrance. Once back at the van, we decided to continue walking along the road behind the museum towards the Monastery of Emialon.
The route took us past a small church before we descended a cliff path to the entrance to the monastery. Incredibly, the monastery had been built into the side of the cliff and was still active. Furthermore, they welcomed visitors by ringing a bell by the entrance. We decided not to ring as it was a bit late to disturb them. It was still lovely to explore the grounds and meet the local cat!
Eventually we arrived back at the van and drove nearer to the town of Dimitsana. Luckily we were able to park near a small chapel where we decided it would be fine to stay the night.
We walked into the town where we bought ice cream and stocked up on food before returning to cook dinner.
European Road Trip in a self build motorhome: Day 25 [Total Miles: 3510]
[Country: Greece, Italy]
Erica and I slept extremely well, despite being parked at the side of the road. Unfortunately it was our last day in Greece and we needed to arrive at Patras ferry port at 3pm. Consequently, we had limited time and so departed soon after breakfast for Olympia, our main visit of the day.
The drive to Olympia was stunning. We drove along winding mountain roads through beautiful countryside before arriving at Olympia around 9am.
Once at Olympia, we parked in the town and walked to the historic site. We soon made our way though the entrance and began exploring the many remains of Ancient Greek temples. The scale of the pillars was awe-inspiring and gave a glimpse of just how fantastic Greek engineering was!
We made our way to the end of the 100m race track which made us feel as though we had stepped back in time. Furthermore, we were able to stand at the end of the track for the obligatory photograph!
After some more exploring, we eventually arrived back at the main entrance. Fortunately we still had time to visit the two museums giving us a greater insight into life in Ancient Greece.
Patras – Bari Ferry
Sadly, our time at Olympia came to an end and it was time to complete the two hour drive to Patras Ferry Port. We arrived, checked in and boarded the ferry. Fortunately we had booked a ticket allowing us to remain in the camper during the 16 hour crossing.
A very kind member of staff directed us to turn the van around to give us a sea view from the van’s door. Consequently, we were able to sit on the step of our van watching as we departed Greece.
It was soon time for dinner, a glass of wine and an early night, all whilst slowly making our way to the next part of our adventure in Italy!
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European Road Trip Part 6
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