Ioannina

Ioannina was at one time, not more than 180 years ago, the capital homestead of Ali Pasha, the Turkish Governor of the late 17 and early 18 hundreds until he was assassinated in his summer hideaway cottage on the lake in 1822. An extremely powerful Pasha, ruling the land between Central Greece and the whole of the Peleponnese (Except for Mani as it was never occupied by the Turks) who was defying the Sultan in all his accrued power. He formed a very capable legion of soldiers and horded much of the tariffs for himself that were suppose to go back to the port for the Sultan. Ali himself was not all Turkish, his mother was Albanian and he was seem as a favorable Pasha to the Greeks. It was said that he had visions of severing his Istanbul ties and creating a Greco Albanian kingdom. He just about allowed the secret society to meet under his nose in Ioannina, until he was sought out by the Sultans hit man squad after they knew of his plot to secede. They finally caught up to him on his hideaway Island that we toured where he was beheaded on the porch as his head rolled down the front steps. His head and those of his three sons and Grandson were all sent to the Sultan to see proof of their execution. The revolution had actually already started one year earlier.

On the lake is an Island, Ali Pashas private resort and hideaway. Jim and Maria led the way as we enjoyed all the sites and cultural change. The Turtles and lake Eels spotted frequently in tanks were an unlikely sight but seen as the regional food here.

The boat ride back. I'm spooked by the frogs, eels and turtles they were serving up for food tavernas. The live tanks with little froggies waiting to be gobbled up by the more seasoned travelers! not me!

Sandra and I standing directly over the Peramas caves. We just got a magnificent tour through one of the largest prehistoric stalagmite caves that was remarkable undiscovered until 1941 when the Greeks were digging themselves in from the WWII bombing raids by the Germans and they open the entrance to this 600 thousand year old underground, mother natures palace!

Another shot taken right after we emerged from the 'journey to the center of the earth', cave exploration. Sandra was pumped! as shown here with Ionnina lake in the background

Another shot at the caves with Ioannina lake in the background