Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Our Honey Bee Men...

June 30, 2012

It was getting late and we still had at least a 4-hour drive ahead to Kalambaka, which is where we were spending the night at Iridonas Guesthouse.  I had a Google map printed, our guesthouse confirmation, and our GPS so we were off again. 
Aqua Duct
We saw this aqua duct along the way and it traveled down the mountain for a long ways.  Stopping for a quick picture and then on the road again!

Our GPS told us to take a right, which was off on a dirt road; or rather it looked like a dirt trail…. I would not call it a road.  While discussing what to do, we see a truck turn onto the dirt road, so we thought well maybe this “IS” the road.  The truck pulled up and then stopped at a large row of beehives off to our left, so of course we stopped to ask them directions for Meteora.  Telling them our GPS was directing us down this road.  They laughed and said “not” this road, but rather stay on the main road… and then said, “it is a long drive.”

Dennis then asked them if they were here to check their beehives and they said yes!  Dennis commented, “you have a lot of hives.”  I also told them my grandfather used to have bees.  He told us he had 85 hives and told us to hold on, so we waited.  There were three of them and one of them walked to a hive and pulled out a honeycomb and brought it to us in the car and told us to try it. 
We both dipped our fingers into the full comb and tasted the sweet honey!
It was delicious... in fact, we had to dip a couple times :-D
Obviously, this was now an opportunity for a picture!  We got out of the car and I wanted to have the beehives in the picture with all three of the guys.  One guy walked over and took out a second honeycomb; and then stood behind one of the hives. Some of the bees were flying around, but he said not to worry.  I was getting ready to take the picture when DT very calmly said, “one of them is stinging me right now.”   It was apparent his foot was just a little too close to the entrance of the hive.  They all stepped away and DT had about a dozen bees all over his shirt and pants.  Clearing the bees off, they moved up and stood in front of another hive.
Our Bee Keeper Friends
We are finding that the people of Greece are really nice!  DT then took a picture of me with our newly found friends and while he was trying to take the picture, he realized that one of the bees had gotten up his pant leg and was crawling around on his leg… but, he did manage to squish him before it had the chance to sting.  …poor bee :-(
Stinger in Dennis' foot.
Here is a close-up of the bee stinger still in his foot… within 5 minutes his foot became very swollen.  He said it did not hurt though.  The guy had scraped the stinger out of his foot and explained why not to just pull it out… okay, whatever it takes.  He did ask if DT was allergic to bees, which we did not think he was, but he did react to the sting and his foot was swollen up pretty big, pretty quick.  (Note all is better by the time I actually type this blog and the swelling is gone.)  Of course I have sting medicine, but it was in the lost luggage!  Okay on our way again!
We continued our way though the winding mountains
and there were a lot of cut backs.
It wasn't too bad, but driving in the dark made it more difficult.
Watching out for cows on free ranged added to the challenge.
We waited for this guy to move off the road!
We did finally arrive in Kalambaka looking for our guesthouse.  We followed the Google directions to the tee, including the last U turn it told us to make and go 51 seconds! …but no guesthouse was in sight… you have got to love “Google”!  By now it is midnight!  We see a man leaning over in the trunk of his car and I told Dennis to ask him where Iridonas Guesthouse might be.  The gentleman had not heard of it.  He did not actually live there, but was visiting family.  He was very nice and offered to call them for us, but we did not have a phone number NOR did we have an actual address for the place.

I know that does not sound like me at all!!!!  I am always very organized on our trips.  But to explain, I booked this place last minute changing our itinerary up a bit. I remember booking it on-line and not finding the address on the website.  I meant to ask them for the address in our email conversations, but forgot to do that.  It was strange that I could enter the name of the guesthouse in Google and get a map though.

So on with the man who was helping us, now knowing the name of the guesthouse  he proceeded across the street to the family home to inquire where this guesthouse might be.  Keeping in mind this whole conversation, we speak no Greek and he spoke little English.  Never-the-less, we communicated and he was very kind to assist us.

He did come back and his son and wife was with him at this time.  His son did speak English and told us to follow him!  Now, we were thrilled with the assistance… what more could we ask.  We followed and drove up the road just a short distance, made a left and the guesthouse was on our right.  We were close, but we would have never found it with the map I had.  We were so appreciative of the help!

Continued:  Meeting Our New Greek Friends

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