For the most people, Evros may constitute a “bitter” recollection due to their military service. However, beyond this, Evros is a very beautiful area of Greece with many places of interest. We decided to make our first dash on the west and north part of the County.
We left beautiful Feres following the old National Road to Alexandroupolis. On Loutros junction, we turned right following the direction to Dadia (40km.). The narrow and recluse road passes through an overgrown area which will impress even the most demanding visitor! Very often, we stopped to take photographs and admire the beautiful landscape.
Having traveled about 20km from the junction of the old National road, we stopped at the ruined – ex-Bulgarian – village of Pessani. The small stone bridge is the only remnant that reminiscent the village. We continued for 1-2 km till we found the sign to “Treis Vryses” (attention; earlier we had found another sign, but there began a dirt road not so compatible). We turned left and continued on a narrow road with a marvelous landscape.
The helical ride ended up at Treis Vryses. Essentially, there is a complex of 3-4 houses of the Forestry. They are located at a place that provides unique panoramic view of the area. That is the reason of their construction as the officials who resident during the summer are responsible for the protection of the area’s forest. Exactly on the front, there was a small meadow where free horses grazed.
From there, an amazing dirt road of 15km started. It is more than compatible at 90%! I believe it is worth it, even for those that avoid dirt rides. The landscape requited us so much that we didn’t want the ride to stop!
We ended up at the junction of Kalithea. It is not about a village but about 4-5 newly built houses on the road. Their construction is almost completed – even radiators are positioned -, however they give you the impression that they are abandoned … it’s a pity!
On the main asphalt road we followed north course (right direction). The road led to Megalo Derio (21km). The landscape continued on the same pattern making us not understanding how we traveled the kilometers.
Reaching Megalo Derio, the vegetation was lower. Outside the village, we made a stop. We saw the abandoned military observatory which about 30 years ago, the residents of the village needed special permits to exeunt their region. We rode 15km to Mikro Dereio. There we met the road signs to Roussa.
We turned left and continued for 10 km. to the village that is known for the traditional architecture of the houses with the characteristic roofs. Maybe someone, that has visited the “mastorochoria” of Epirus, finds familiar this style as the particular roofs are made of big level plates mounted on a row. It is really impressive!
We continued for 6km. past the village Roussa until we found a small sign to “rock-drawings”. We followed the asphalt recluse route for about 5km till the next sign of the archaeological service. We left the motorcycles on the road and climbed at the spot where the sign indicated. After 20-30m., we found the “rock-drawings” which are on the level surface of a rock. There was not any further marking or a path and that’s the reason why someone has to make a little effort to find them. The rock-drawings that are dated back in 900-1100 B.C. depict symbols that look like small humans… at least that’s how we “interpreted” them! Unfortunately far from the signs the “responsible ones” haven’t done anything else. I am really afraid that these 3000 years old findings will alter so much that you won’t be able to discern a thing due to the natural destruction from weather – and not only - phenomenon.
We turned back from the same route. A few meters after the first sign to the “rock-drawings” a vertical road led to settlement “Tekes” without marking. We wanted to follow it. After about 1 km. we reached a Muslim monastery. Essentially it is about a building where dervish “Kizil-Dezi”‘s grave is accommodated. We entered to examine the place. Some kids that played there called their mother who, in split Greek, was eager to show us the dervish’s grave which was located inside a small building. It was difficult for us to understand her, that’s why the father of the family was called forth. After I asked what the rest of the buildings were, she explained to us that they were hostels and collateral spaces. Once a year, visitors-pilgrims are gathered carrying meat, fruits, etc and a big feast takes place. When I asked about the date of that feast, she didn’t know… (?)
Reading some relative articles from the guidebook I carried, I discovered that it was about a “mysterious” monastery of “Kizilbasides” which was built in 1402 by the members of a “Bektasiko” Battalion. As the guidebook says, nobody knows which the ceremonies are and what they mean. The almanac has enough resemblances with the old-Christian one and the ceremonies with corresponding Orphic. Over the years they have been obligated to expatriate many times and they have been seriously affected by the people they contacted.
We returned to Mikro Dereio and continued to Metaxades (18km). The vegetation of the area was fewer but the helical route continued to be beautiful and comfortable. In Metaksades, we went for a ride at the picturesque town and ended up at a tourist kiosk, for a few-minute stop, which provided a panoramic view of the village.
In Didimoticho, (28km) two army friends and colleagues were expecting us, John and Jim. Fulfilling an older promise, I called them and made an appointment to meet. Reaching Didimoticho, we took a short ride at the old center of the city – essentially till we found the meeting point – and I can say that I was impressed. Our friends waited though so we left the tour for later. As it was expected with the conversation and the beautiful company time went by without noticing. So, the tour in the city … went for a ride!!! We left it for the next time we visited the city…
Around 9.30pm, we left beautiful Didimoticho heading to Feres (76km). The road to Soufli was not so comfortable due to the road-works, the incomplete lighting and the bad quality of the road. Reaching Feres, the memories of what we have seen made us not feeling the weariness…