We had a wonderful Program Director, Amaryllis who has a PhD in Political Science and History but could not find a job in her field under current Greece economy. Our driver Tassos drives carefully, and plays piano, accordion, and sings. These two people have provided us most wonderful experience during the time we were together. Below is a map of our trip, me with these dynamic duo, and a group picture of 14 fellow travelers with Amaryllis and Tassoso.
I flew into Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece, and flew out from Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. The land tour passed through Thesalloniki (a port city facing Aegean Sea), Vergina (the royal tombs), Meteora (monasteries on top of towering rocks), Metsovo (meat pie cooking lesson), Loannina (silver smith workshop visit), Zagoria (hiking by the Vikos Gorge), Butrint (the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric of the Byzantine Empire), Gjirokaster (Ottoman era mansions), Dhoksat (home visit), Tirana (capital of Albania, Berat Castle, Bunk's Art Museum), Ohrid (Ohrid trout, Macedonian Ruby, and water museum), and ended up in Skopje ( Macedonia struggle, city center, and Matka Canyon hike).
I truly enjoyed this learning and discovery tour, and also tasted much delicious food and wine!