Over recent years I seem to have developed the skill of being able to sleep pretty much any where at any time – including the opera, cinema and theatre (not yet church though (give it time!) Thus it is that I slept throughout the flight – propped against the window – only waking occasionally to notice the landscape below (which I believe at one point was the Alps…)
Our eventual landing brought us into Thessaloniki Airport where the weather was far cry from the blue skies I am sure many of us were hoping for when we booked this FamTour (Familiarisation Tour for those planning to lead a Pilgrimage to Greece, In the Footsteps of St Paul). Grey skies and a distinct chill in the air meant it was on the fleeces and overcoats with plans being made to purchase hats at the first possible opportunity. As we were so late arriving, the lunch stop which would have been an hour after our scheduled arrival was taken a immediately – at a burger bar. The scenic (not) drive from airport to burger bar took us through the car park of IKEA – I kid you not!
The lakes and hills to our right soon gave way to views of the Aegean Sea – with sights of the island of Thassos available too. Mountain ranges shrouded in cloud and mist loomed large over the roadside to our left – Vertiskos, Volvi, Kerdilio and Pangeon. They are truly impressive and very beautiful with some of their peaks still covered in snow.
And why this lengthy journeying – which eventually brought us to Kavala? Well, Kavala is the modern name for Neapolis – the ancient port of Philippi – to where Paul journeyed on various of his missionary journeys.