Monday, 28 November 2016

A walk through the Old Town of Trikala

Part 2 of the Roadtrip 2016 series

August 16, 2016. We arrive at Trikala on the late afternoon, after a long but beautiful drive from Kamena Vourla. This is the first stop of our pre-planned road trip.

After dropping off our luggage at the military hostels (we're staying there for 2 nights, thank you dad for fixing us up) we walk to the Old Town of Trikala. We leave behind the "Old Grocery Stores" district and head north to the neighborhood of Varousi.

Varousi is the stately neighborhood of the town. Once the hub of merchants, artisans and overall wealthy Trikalians from the 1700s, it preserved the Christian element of Trikala during the Ottoman occupation. Located on the outskirts of the hill where the Byzantine Fortress is built, it is recognized by the state as a "preservable area". Its quaint streets are beautified by the colorful 17th-19th century mansions, constructed of wood, reeds, plaster and bricks. Unfortunately some of them are on the brink of demolition due to lack of resources for maintenance. Nevertheless the area is still emanating a lordly and religious vibe, which is reinforced by the numerous churches that adorn its backstreets.

The Clock which overlooks the town was built by the Ottomans and still is visitable. Its location, right next to the old Fortress on top of the highest hill of Trikala offers incredible vistas of the entire basin which is surrounded by the Kotziakas sierra. When we reach the top of the hill, we are welcomed by the closed gates of both the Clock and the Fortress. Nevermind, we still stroll around the round plaza and take photos of the beautiful view, illuminated by the early evening sun.

Trikala is known as the "Amsterdam of Greece" for its streets are occupied by bikes of all sorts and sizes, a sight very unusual for the greek standards. Its friendly atmosphere is strenghtened by the numerous hip cafes and bars and the really breathtaking street art (visual evidence below). Even though we only spent approximately 6 hours in the town I can safely recommend you the places we ate and had coffee because I simply loved them.

> For traditional greek cuisine and local meat: Mezedokamomata
> For delicious fast food: Jimmy's and Sons 
> For coffee and drinks: Cactus (I personally adored it for its Frida Kahlo-ish vibe but didn't take pictures) and The Love Shake

Having Trikala as our base we did a day-long excursion to the nearby villages, before driving to Meteora and then northern in Greece. But these are topics for the posts to follow!

Thank you for reading!


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