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Friday, 15 January 2010 08:13

Turkey to UK - Thessaloniki to Igoumenitsa

Day 3

Firstly, a post script from yesterday.  As if our morning wasn't exciting enough, there was another incident that got the adrenalin going.  Whilst speeding along a Turkish motorway, the airbag warning light started flashing.  

The prospect of an airbag exploding at any moment is enough to induce a little perspiration.  However, this happened once before, and when the car was last serviced, the guy told me not to worry about it.  So I didn't.  Anyway, today, Friday, it isn't flashing any more.

Last night we had 5 star luxury, complete with fluffy bathrobes, slippers, and this morning a hearty breakfast.  We made the most of it, because tonight we will be in a cabin, serenely slipping through the Adriatic.

The aim today is to drive to Igoumenitsa, book a ferry and sail to Ancona overnight.

Once again, the roads are excellent: smooth tarmac (mostly), free of holdups, and a speed limit of 130kph for most of the way.  We head off in the direction of Athina, then towards Veria, Kozani and Igoumenitsa.  We come across our first Greek toll road - all of 2 euros.

When we set off it is overcast and 10c.  As we make progress, it brightens up, but then we get a little rain, and as we drive up into the mountains we get thick fog.  It doesn't last long, and as we emerge into the sunshine the temperatures get up to 13c.

The views are spectacular (when it's not foggy).  Lots of mountains, mostly covered in trees, but some rocky peaks covered in snow.

Below: Tree-lined mountains, with a fresh covering of snow, and a bit of low cloud.

The road to Igoumenitsa

Below: The sign says "Slow - ice on road", but there isn't any.

The road to Igoumenitsa

At 2pm we arrive at our destination and head for the travel agents to book our ferry tickets.  This takes all of 10 minutes.  The car plus 2 people in a cabin with bathroom, costs 304 euros.

We then walk over the road to the building where the main ferry operators are, and get our boarding cards.  That takes 5 minutes.

We are now free to enjoy Igoumenitsa until 7pm, when we have to turn up for our 8pm departure with Superfast Ferries.  It's quite a pleasant town, whose day to day life clearly revolves around the port.  There are lots of sea front cafes, restaurants and bars.  Not much of a beach though.

Below: The church in Igoumenitsa.

The church in Igoumenitsa

When we wake up in the morning we will be close to Italy.  The sea looks calm as we head for the ship.  We hope it stays that way.

Start: 10.30.
Stop: 14.00
Miles: 207 (332km)
Missed turns: 0
Directions asked: 1
Bags of maltesers eaten: 1
Snow encountered: none.
CD of the day: Dave Pearce Dance Anthems ( very loud)

Read about the next day