Day 23 – Via Egnatia – no accommodation – again!

Had a lovely short walk today. We decided to walk from Giannitsa (where we stayed last night) to Pella. Anyone who is an Alexander the Great fan will know that Pella was his home town. It was quite the happening place back in the day. Today however Pella is a small sleepy village that seems to have very little of offer for the traveller other than a nice new museum (funded and built by the EU as far as we can tell) and two weedy ill-kept archeological  sites. The first we almost missed as we walked past –  the palace. Not open to the public, in a sad state. The ancient city excavations are open – there are some mosaics to see and a few columns – but the place is filled with weeds, there are virtually no signs say what’s what. It’s derelict. At least there’s no graffiti! 

We decided the walk to Pella and the historic interlude was enough for today. We took a taxi the last 21 kms to the next place with a hotel because of course Pella has no place to stay!  We arrived at the one and only hotel in Gefira – the illustrious Galla Hotel – to find it closed. Looks like it’s been this way for some time judging from the decrepit look of the grounds. OMG. Seriously. We were so lucky we’d arrived by taxi. The driver drove us back to another town along the highway and deposited is at a very nice place on the outskirts of Chalkidona – just a few kms from Pella. We could easily have walked here had we known the Gefira hotel was closed. The frustrations of finding accommodation seem to be never ending! 

We’ve just spent a few hours finding a place to stay in Thessaliniki for tomorrow because the place we were supposed to walk to tomorrow is fully booked. Go figure. Finally we would have been walking to a town with three hotels to choose from and not one of them has a room. So our newest plan is to take a bus into Thessaloniki  in the morning. So much for our grand arrival on foot. We are now going to be there a whole week earlier than planned due to having to skip so many places in Greece. 

The walking is the easy part! Speaking of which much of our walk today was through cotton fields with “ripe” cotton ready for picking. Really soft balls but held to the plant by thorny “brackets” – must be hellish to pluck by hand!

Pictures – cotton fields and the ancient city of Pella.

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