So, as some of you know, I’m a bit of a bird watcher. (Yes, Robert tells me regularly that I’m going to be a great old person.) So, when I read that there was a lake near Thessaloniki where endangered Dalmatian pelicans nested, I absolutely had to go.
Lake Kerkini was first created back in the 1930’s. It is apparently THE place to visit in Greece for bird watching as it is on the route for birds coming and going from the Aegean sea, the Black sea, and the Balkans. I’ve read that 300 different varieties of birds can be spotted at Lake Kerkini. Unfortunately, we went in “winter.” Which meant we couldn’t find a boat to take us out on the lake. Which meant that, while we spotted a bunch of birds, we couldn’t get close enough to them to take decent photos. There are also herds of water buffalo (yes, really) that live in the area, as well as wolves, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, and 20 different types of reptiles, but we didn’t get to see them either. Boo. But rest assured, if we make it back to Greece, we are going to suck it up and take a group tour so we can see the amazing critters of Lake Kerkini.
Our next stop was Pella, an ancient city that probably, most likely, was the birthplace of Alexander the Great. It was probably built back in the 4th Century B.C., but today it is pretty much just a pile of rocks with a few upright columns and some pretty neat pebble mosaics.
After Pella, we drove up to the Edessa waterfall park. I have so say, these were some pretty nice waterfalls. The Karanos waterfall at the park (pictured below) is apparently the biggest waterfall in Greece. Although Robert didn’t appreciate that Google maps told us to drive down tiny little cobblestone streets to get to the waterfall.
And then, because we are a little weird and we sometimes treat Atlas Obscura as our travel bible, we went to an abandoned cemetery. Yep, a cemetery. This particular cemetery contains the corpses of a sect known as the Bogomils. The internet tells me that the Bogomils originated in Bulgaria and flourished between the 10th and 15th centuries. Apparently, they believed that the material world was created by the Devil and they swore off marriage, eating meat, and drinking wine. We are really glad that we aren’t Bogomils.
Road trips are one of our favorite ways to spend a day, and this one didn’t disappoint.