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TRAVEL TIPS

Breathtaking Metsovo

Breathtaking comes to mind to describe the view of Metsovo from my hotel balcony. The town itself is small, picturesque and traditional. Perched on the mountainside, there are stunning panoramic views from what seems like all locations around the town. Whether you’re standing in the town square or hiking down to the monastery of Agios Nikolaos there are views of the surrounding Pindos mountain range. Local products and art take pride of place here. Shops are dedicated to local woodwork, art, traditional costumes and local produce. Metsovo is well-known for its cheeses – a wide variety of cheeses are available and the cheeses are exported throughout Greece. The museums are proud holders of the local history, culture and artefacts. It seems to be a small tight-knit community and it has numerous little roads to explore with large houses, many two or three stories, all with the same distinctive design – orange roofs with white or grey brick walls. Colourful flower pots adorn the balconies, creating a bright, cheerful look. It is a charming town, with friendly locals who have been all too happy to answer my questions and offer their input. My walking around with a notebook furiously scribbling down notes led to the questions of why I was in Metsovo. Those I shared my writing project with have been enthusiastic and keen to assist. I have been to the church of Agia Paraskevi, the Evangelos Averoff Gallery, the Michail Tositsa mansion/folkore museum and the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos. These are important sites for visitors to come to a deeper appreciation of Metsovo’s history and the lives of the locals. You can see the way villagers lived, protected their homes, dealt with the cold winter months, how they dressed and how they made food and clothing. It’s a fascinating look into life before modernity. Getting to the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos was a feat in itself, a very steep walk down. The monastery building is small, the frescoes inside largely untouched by time. The church is dark, the frescoes protected from sunlight which fades them, much like exposure to the sun can fade both hair and clothes. The steep terrain made for a difficult walk back up. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and take drinks and refreshments with you. My time in Metsovo has given me an appreciation of life in a small Greek town, far up in the mountains and it’s certainly worth a visit. I could not get enough of the stunning view, the silence and the calm pace of the village. I visited towards the end of summer and how I would love to see Metsovo blanketed in snow in the winter. On my next visit to Metsovo, I will aim to see her in her wintry glory. article by Tia Mitsis www.facebook.com/tiamitsisgreektravelodyssey.wordpress.com see originan article here