My first journey begins!
It was a typical morning for me, that Friday, 17th of November. I thought I would enjoy my familiar procedure “baby butt cleaning – breastfeeding – taking a nap again”. But it seems that was not my destiny. I noticed my dad preparing some luggage and asking mom “Will you prepare baby’s stuff?”. Grrr, why do they call me “baby”, first of all? My name is Ektoras, it’s written even in my passport that I got since I was 10 days old!
Anyway, I forgive them for now, maybe it sounds sweet to them. While breastfeeding, I also noticed that my pram and some winter clothes, sent from my Russian relatives, were also taken to the car. I realized that this day wouldn’t be the same as the previous 36 since I arrived in this world. Let’s drink as much milk as possible, who knows what these parents have in mind…
Then, to tell you the truth, it was proved once again that our small car has something inside that makes me sleepy. Well, I was fully fed, clean and fresh, there was some nice celtic music in the car, so I fell asleep in my warm baby seat. As I learned, we drove through Egnatia national road to Kastoria, under rainy weather. We met my grandparents there, they always jump like crazy when they see me. It looks soooo funny! So, we had a break, for the adults to enjoy homemade food with a nice view. As for me, it was my chance to show them that my diapers need change, and my tiny stomach was empty… And, you know, my mom’s breasts have the best food in the world!
Where do you think my diaper’s change took place? On the car’s aft etagere, while I had an amazing view of Kastoria lake through the glass! My parents don’t get discouraged easily when it comes to a trip, they find solutions for any possible “problem”.
Finally, we reach Prespes lakes!
Driving to the Prespes region was quite beautiful, a typical autumn route on the mountains (this is what I understood from the conversation between the grown-ups, I don’t see anything through the car window yet).
We arrived in the small village of Agios Germanos. My granddad said that many years ago it was a town of 3000 people. I can’t imagine exactly what it means, but now, only the old mill, the church, and the traditional houses remind about the past. More or less, this is the reality in that whole Prespes area, there are even totally abandoned villages. What keeps the area alive is the famous Prespes beans fields, that you can see everywhere! My parents and grandparents bought more than thirty kilos of them! Hopefully, I will try soon, though my delicious milk is far better!
We enjoyed the cozy atmosphere in our hotel, I could watch the adults playing Scrabble and talking about Easter in Russia. Russia? Hmm… I think I have some more relatives over there, where is this Russia? Are we going on a trip again? Life is interesting finally!
Next day we all had our breakfast (of course mine was the best), then we walked up to the lake island of Agios Achilios, through a bridge that connects it to the mainland. I saw water buffalos for the first time, yes! There were also some old churches and a nice view of the lake and the bean fields around!
My first small trip was just perfect until now! And it kept this way, visiting the village Pyli, and the monument of the Democratic Army of Greece and the cave of Zachariadis, as it is known. I am not sure if I remember it right, but my dad told me, that you can walk up to one more mountain cave, where rebels had their military hospital during WW II and the civil war after. When I grow up, I shouldn’t forget to ask him, what is war… Anyway, I saw the old forest path up to the cave was all painted in autumn colors, full of oak trees. It looked beautiful.
I don’t know what was going on with the time, as I fell asleep a couple of times, but then we appeared to be in Psarades. This village is the starting point for boat excursions in the big Prespa lake, as well as for hiking trails and wildlife watching. There are many fish restaurants, I could see their fireplaces fully burning. But we did not stay for a long time, I don’t know why (but my dad was muttering something about smokers, laws, shame and such stuff).
So we went to the Mikrolimni village, on the other side of the small lake, and my parents enjoyed greek coffee in a lovely cafe – restaurant on the lake shore. Friendly owners, an absolutely clean atmosphere without smoking, great view… It is called “Ta psaradika tou Hasou“, trust me and visit it! I met my first friends there, twins, sons of the owner!
It was quite late when we got back to our hotel. I did my job, e.g. shower, breastfeeding and sleeping, while my dad was ordering winter clothes online… Hmmm… It seems we will have an interesting time with these two people!
Let’s see Kastoria!
This is how our short Prespes trip was coming to an end. But, the next day was a sunny day! So we could enjoy one more visit to Mikrolimni, and then a beautiful route up to Kastoria. You know, the picturesque city with the lake. As soon as I grow up, I will surely go myself over there. My parents seem to love this place, and I trust them!
We walked next to the lake, watching the birds, enjoyed lunch, made photos, wandered in the narrow streets in the upper town. You can guess that I fell asleep under such conditions, fresh air always helps…
Time passed, and I find myself on the etagere once again, somewhere on the national road. My mom changing my diapers, my dad making photos, hehe!
Now that I finished, I should leave you. I need to have more milk, sleep and grow up, so that to enjoy even more the pleasures of life. Don’t worry, though, I will be back soon with my new adventures, I think it was the beginning of a life full of travel experiences!
Little Ektoras, November 2017
P.S.: “Special thanks to my dad for helping me and writing my thoughts. You see, I still can’t express myself in a grown-up way. But it will change one day! And then we will see if he did a good job :)”