We woke to a beautiful day for our move further north. All slept very well and we put it down to the gases that must have been coming out of the ground at the Oracle yesterday. Anyway, what ever it was it worked.
An 0830 start took us through Delphi to the West to then turn north past Amfissa before entering the spectacular Gorge that will lead us through to the small village of Gravia and then on to Brallos before we venture through the Pass. The scenery through the Gorge was beautiful as were the Cyprus Pines dotting the landscape. All was very green as it had been a hard winter but with good rain and now spring was bursting forth.
Gravia was where the B Company of the 2/1st Battalion propped and was to cover the road through the Gorge but was later moved over onto the main evacuation route and safely went through 2/4th Battalion who had been tasked with the rearguard duties.
Gravia is a small village or 600 people at the northern end of the pass and over the centuries this position was of strategic importance to Greece and it is where the revolution against the Ottomans started in 1821. A coffee relaxing near the small river that runs through the village was enjoyed before we headed off towards Brallos........more to follow after dinner!!
Next stop was on the old Brallos Pass Road where we were able to see across the valley the railway bridges brought down by a commando type raid by a British Group who had been dropped on the Aegean Coast, carried out the demolition and returned to the Adriatic Coast for pick up and return to the UK. Quite an extraordinary task, that was a success.
On the old Brallos Pass Road we stopped at the new Memorial that had been established by the 2/2 Field Regiment in memory of those under Lt. Anderson who had been killed at the site by counter battery fire on 22 April 1941.
There was also a section of 9 men from the 2/4th Battalion who were posted as close protection for the guns were also killed in the exchange of fire. One of the members of the protection party was well known to Max Willis as he had been a country school teacher and boarded with Max's family. His name was Ted McKeon and we conducted a small Service to honour those lost on that day.
Following that Service we made our way to Lamia for lunch before setting off again for Domokos. At Domokos, we were able to view the layout of the defence of the site. There were 4 Battalions supported by Field Regiment, Machine Gun Battalion, anti-armour and the Hussars who were to conduct and act well out to the front of the position in a covering force role.
Later in the day, Tassos, our driver, gained a "protection of Nature" award for stopping the coach to rescue a tortoise who had ventured out onto the road.
Kalambaka was reached at 1720 and we prepared for dinner and a pre-dinner drink. Tomorrow the Monasteries on the hill followed by the visit to the site where Brigadier Sharpe had set up the blocking force 15 km north of the town.