Digital Nomad Stop #4: Meteora

After dropping my dad at the airport in Athens, I was on my own again and hopped onto a train heading North, direction Kalambaka. It was a long day that got even longer when a train replacement bus service was in place for the last part of the trip which left with an hour delay. Safe to say I was very happy when I finally arrived in the little town, even though it was dark and rainy!

Originally, my plan had been to work on the train from Athens – but mobile connection was so bad that hotspot was not an option and I barely managed to answer some emails from my phone. So work had piled up quite a bit and I sadly had to start my time in Meteora with a couple of working days. Luckily, the weather was also not great most of those days (read: it was pouring down!), so it was a little easier to sit inside.

In the end, I ended up having one full day and one early morning where it was both dry and I wasn’t needed in any work meetings/urgencies. Not much time, but if you know me, you know that’s not something that keeps me from trying everything I can… So on my full day, I started at sunrise and returned after sunset. The time in between was filled with lots and lots of beautiful views.

Nature in Meteora is simply stunning. The rocks seem surreal and it’s fascinating to see how the monasteries were built on top of them. I loved hiking the whole day in the sun and being able to enjoy nature at its best.

People had told me that it’s impossible to see Meteora in one day, but I somehow managed. I only skipped one monastery but visited all others that were open. I walked pretty much all the trails. I almost saw sunrise and I did see sunset. But because I only almost saw sunrise, I decided to wake up early one day to actually see the sunrise. Now, that was really everything ticked off!

I enjoyed my time in Meteora and was happy that I decided to go there. It was still quite busy with tourists, so I can only imagine how high season must look like. On the other hand, 90% of my week up there was rainy, so that is one of the disadvantages of travelling in December. Lucky, who has enough time to wait for the perfect day, as I did… 🙂 Here are some more photos of Meteora!

Digital Nomad Stop #3: Peloponnese

It was hard and easy at the same time to leave Kalymnos. Hard, because I (still) suck at goodbyes, even after all the travelling I have done. Easy, because the island was getting really empty, Masouri was turning into a ghost town, aaaand I was going to meet my dad in Athens at the airport for the next part of my Greece adventure!

I took the night ferry to Athens which was really comfy. Proper digital nomad-style, I spent my day working at a café in Piraeus and at the airport. Definitely preferred the airport with super speedy Wi-Fi, good seating and charging options!

My dad’s flight was only due in the evening, so we picked up our rental car and spent the night near the airport before heading off to Leonidio next day!

Photo from a couple of days later… It was a rather grey day, but we stopped at the Corinth Canal which was cool to see and at Acrocorinth which is basically like a castle with nice views. Sun came out just in time for us to enjoy this part of our trip!

We arrived in Leonidio in the pouring rain and the next couple of days were a bit…challenging…weather-wise. I was able to get quite some work done and dad made the best of the situation. Luckily, weather improved and we were able to head out for some climbing soon! I really enjoyed climbing in Leonidio, but I must say that climbing low/mid 6s is much better in Kalymnos. There is also just much more choice. We spent about 10 days in Leonidio and I think I could have spent another 10 days there, but then might have gotten bored.

One day, we climbed the only multi-pitch in the lower grades „Mignonette“ 5c which was one of my favourite days in Leonidio. It was a really nice climb, especially the last 3 pitches and the crux pitch. The views were amazing and it was just overall really enjoyable with the right temperature and right amount of clouds. The hike down was a bit long, but given the amazing views, we did not mind at all!

Another one of my highlights was our day trip to Kyparissi. It’s a 1h15 drive along a brand new coastal road but feels like a world away from everything! Actual peace and really the feeling of being in the nature, which I was sometimes missing in Leonidio when hearing traffic noise up at the crag. The drive itself was already beautiful and the routes were some of my favourites of our time in Leonidio. Loads of musical notes, which means amazing climbing and great rock!

We also explored some of the monasteries that are built into the rock – the prettiest one was the Saint Nicholas of Sintza Monastery. Super nice! There were lots of cute little towns and pretty drives. We stopped by Kosmas at one point and took some adventurous backroads which sometimes worked out well, sometimes less so!

All in all, we had a great time in and around Leonidio – but still wanted to see a little bit more of the Peloponnes. So after about 10 days, we drove to Nafplio, stopping at the ruins of Mycenae on the way. Unfortunately, we were just a little too late and they were closing for the day. But views from the outside were pretty cool with photogenic clouds in all directions!

Nafplio itself is a cute little harbour town that is supposed to be one of the prettiest towns of Greece. While I haven’t been everywhere in Greece, it is definitely a really nice and photogenic town. We enjoyed exploring the streets and went on a beautiful coastal walk. The castle was also definitely worth a visit and provided us with amazing views!

As we had some more time left, we decided to embark on yet another mini road trip. First, we went to see the ruins of Epidaurus, which were alright but overall not that amazing. We then drove across to the East coast and hopped along the coast and back to Nafplio with lots of photo stops along the way at little beaches, towns and viewpoints. Another worthwhile adventure!

And suddenly, our time on the Peloponnes came to an end. It was time to return to Athens – for dad for his flight home and for myself to take the train North… To part 3 of my adventures in Greece.

And for all of you who would like to see more photos of the beautiful Peloponnes, check out my Flickr album!

Digital Nomad Stop #2: Kalymnos

Kalymnos, rock climbing paradise… Before 2021, I had never heard of this little Greek island – even though I have visited both of its famous neighbours, Kos and Rhodes. But as I researched where to go and as we are still in the middle of a pandemic… choices were a bit limited and Kalymnos soon seemed like the obvious choice!

I started my trip with a flight from Vienna airport, which – in season – has direct flights to Kos. From there I took a ferry to Kalymnos, arriving around sunset time.

The best time to arrive, especially if you were staying in an apartment in Masouri with a view of Telendos, like I did! I never quite got used to how beautiful my daily sunset view was.

Off to a great start… or so I thought. While I loved the apartment and immediately met lots of people to climb with, I also lost my first and at that time only client on my first proper day as a digital nomad. Oops! They felt sorry about having to let me go… but just didn’t have any work for me anymore. I soon got lucky again though, found two new clients and just enjoyed the first two weeks without work, climbing loads. It was hard to go back to working a couple of hours a week once I had work again! But in the end, it worked out really well: I spent most week day mornings climbing, finishing around 14.00 and then putting in a couple of hours of work and I also chose some work days, where I would only focus on my clients and get as much done as possible. The weekends were free of course and ideal for longer climbing sessions or trips to crags that were further away!

Some of my highlights on Kalymnos were:

  • Climbing a multi-pitch route and rappelling down into Grande Grotta afterwards, which meant rappelling 70m in the air! Super cool, and quite an interesting first rappel for me!
  • Visiting Telendos, climbing at Lambda and Irox and having dinner in the harbour afterwards. Unfortunately I never made it back to Telendos afterwards to climb at Eros – so that’s one for the tick list once I return to Kalymnos!
  • Trying deep water solo. It was more of a fun day out than lots of climbing for me, but we had an awesome group. It was a cool thing to try, but as I don’t really like jumping into water from high up, I was a bit too scared to try hard on the routes.
  • Sending three 6cs, one of them being a tufa route, which were so much harder for me than wall climbing! Unfortunately, I got scared for no reason on the 6c+ route which I was trying to send on one of my last days and time ran out to get back there and try again. One more for my „Kalymnos 2.0 tick list“.
  • …and of course, meeting so many amazing people and having a total of 37 wonderful climbing days, climbing 176 different routes! (Yes, I counted them and sorry not sorry I love stats.) I couldn’t have chosen any better place to start my nomad life!

Click on the pic below to get to my Flickr album of Kalymnos for more pics!

Destination: Everywhere