The land behind the lagoons of Messolonghi is wild. A rugged, steep, partly karstified, partly volcanic mountain range with immense rockfalls, vertical cliffs and gorges. We drove to Kato Retsina, a tiny village on a rocky ridge above Messolonghi (see also 'Interesting facts'). Already here you have a tremendous view of the plain, the lagoons and the sea, of course also of the Varasova mountains opposite Patras. We have already been here, because Anatoli has a restaurant here, right on the edge, with this incredible view.
This time our marina neighbours Tony and Pat told us about a Wanderflugs round Trip, so we drove from Kato Retsina even further up into the mountains, with wild gorges and often distant views of the sea, the southernmost Ionian islands of Kefallonia and Zakynthos. The roads were narrow and not in good condition, but that was just a foretaste.
Beyond the top of the pass a huge green valley opened up, bordered by steep green slopes, one feels reminded of Ticino or Piedmont., with old oak treues an früher down chestnut trees. Small villages, goats crawling up the slopes, and the roads getting narrower and narrower. Sometimes the curves right next to the road go down vertically, several hundred metres deep, you almost get dizzy while driving. Of course, the signs are not always very clear, so we turned around several times, because we had serious doubts whether we we were on the right way at all.
To the wide plain with two inland lakes below us we spiralled down in wild serpentines. But this was not the end of the spectacular landscape: After we reached the bottom, we headed southwest again, into a gorge. Redish-white vertical cliffs bordered the road that led through the gorge, which really puts the landscapes of the Karl May films in the shade. We often stopped to take pictures, also because the evening sun created a wonderful strong reddish light.