Drama: little city with a big night life
We continue our journey and drive into a little city named Drama (what a dramatic name...). In Drama, we find a huge amount of bars, taverns and shops, and we also taste the night life of the city!
City centre and parking district Agia Varvara
Greeks and time is a very special matter. With Takis, our greek of trust as mentioned before, we already made the appointment in Germany for that night in Drama. But in Greece, things do not happen at the scheduled time but instead, when things are ready to happen. On the way to the beach in the forenoon, we got a phone call: "I am in Paleochori, where are you?" As we currently were in Eleftheroupoli that is around 10 kilometres away, we agreed an appointment there. He also told us the vehicle model we should look for, and then we searched for him. But he was not driving a Sierra as announced, but a Mondeo, so that the search was a little extended.
After a day together on the beach Ammolofoi, where the cousins of Kostas, Jorgos and Takis, that never saw each other before, noticed that they were distantly related, we arranged to meet in Drama in the late afternoon. Takis told us on the phone that he will appear to the appointment with another car, a Fiat Punto.
The way to Drama led us through a low hilled area of the Philippi lowlands that was agriculturally used (corn, tabac, wine, brute) finally to Drama. On the agreed point of meeting there was only a Fiat Uno, but due to the reason that it was the only vehicle there and that Takis was sitting inside, we first had to die laughing.
What was eye-catching in Drama was the abundance of bars, taverns and shops in the city centre at the first sight that could level some urbanistic faux-pas as the concrete buildings of the seventies were. Specially during the greek summer vacation time that is from June to August, Drama becomes an important center of festivities for the teenagers. Hundreds of young people meet already at the early noon time in the centrally located bars in order to start drinking a frappé and get into the spirit of the following day on the beach in Nea Peramos, that is approximately forty kilometres away.
In the evening, the night life really jumps in Drama, as after the beach, people meet again in the beach bars in order to either have an open-air-until the small hours or to have party in the clubs. But we first went on our way to the picturesque district that is located at the city park, Agia Varvara, with it's weeping willows from which sources arise and form a little seascape. The bodies of water are framed in quarrystoned quay walls, through which the stairs and the water falls are connected and surrounded by good-looking white and ocher - coloured houses. The labyrinthine district is crossed by little bridges and has, specially in the area close to the banks, a large choice of taverns and bars.
We also took comfort in one of the taverns and made sure to get a good basis in our stomach for the upcoming evening with typical greek specialities. By the way, in greek taverns, no one gets his own plate, but the food is served on plates and bowls that are placed in the centre of the table and reachable for everybody to pick the food with the fork. Neither there are menue cards. Instead, the chief of the house specifies all meals available in a tremenduous speed in order to be able to order what one stil remembers.
After an abundant meal that consisted on about ten different components and was more than affordable, we continued to the party mile of the city that starts at the market place. In one of the many bars, we sat outside on the comfortable leather couchs and watched the dense crowds and the goings. The drinks are indeed twice as much expensive than in the taverns (beer 0,33 litres around 3 euros), but there is a nice atmosphere with good music that has nothing to do with the standard touristical booze atmosphere that is known in touristical centres. This may be due to the reason that such kind of tourists do not go to Drama, as it is simply too far from the sea.
The backcountry of Drama: a paradise for hikers and nature lovers
But the little town at the bottom of the Falakrón mountains has not only a lot of night life to offer. In the middle of the city area for example, a hill of a height of 400 metres rises, the Korilovos, that is, among other things, used by paragliders as a starting point, that glide from there over the wide surface. it also forms a wonderful lookout point with a wide view, that is best to enjoy from the restaurant located on the Korilovos.
But also the backcountry has some particularities and is a popular destination specially for nature lovers and hikers. For example, the Menikion that is more than 1900 metres high which afforested hillsides offer a space for living to unusual kinds of animals like wild pigs, wolfs and eagles. Also, close to Drama there are two spacious forest areas, Elatia and Fraktos, that are not located in the mountains. Elatia, which vegetation reminds strongly on central Europe, has the only red fir trees of Greece and offers a home to animals like wolfs, brown bears, wild cats and eagles, is located at the border of Bulgaria and, contrary to Fraktos, can't be accessed. The village Elatia that is responsible for the conservation of the forest, even offers free tourist accomodations, but they have to be booked far in advance.
Fraktos however, is considered as one of the less touched forest areas of Europe, sustains numerous kinds of flowers that are unexplored and through the prohibition of trespassing it should be protected against forest fires. Furthermore, the two rivers Angitis and Milopotamos and a lake named Leukogion emboss the ambit of the city. In their area of influence, nature protection areas have developed, that are an important living space for numerous kinds of birds like the stork, but also for snakes and other animals. Additionally, the river Angitis offers a very special natural spectacle: the stalactite cave Maras close to Kokkinogion, that has a chamber of more than 500 metres length. The stalagmites and stalagtites there, have partly an amplitude up to two metres and have an unusual coloration that is provoked by the metals as iron and copper.
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz