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Trip to Cave of Petralona - By car or is the bike an option?

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Trip to Cave of Petralona - By car or is the bike an option?

From Camper stop Zampetas we had planned visiting the cave of Petralona next to Mount Katsika together with our camper neighbors Suse and Axel, who are on their way to New Zealand in a VW Camper, when Axel's message that he wanted to do the tour by bicycle surprised us in the morning.

We others were not even thinking like that due to the temperatures in July, so that we declined with thanks. Axel estimated of about 2 hours for the route of about 31 kilometers, so he asked for an hour ahead. Also, the indicated altitude profile of cyclists software could it not stop him in the end.

Axel had chosen the route through the villages Tagarades, Souroti, Vasilika, Monopigado, Krini on the way to Petralona, a decision which he later described as really hard and stressful, because there were sometimes so steep inclines along the mountains, even creating some problems to him. So he wanted to choose a different route back to the camper stop Zampetas.

The rest of us took advantage of the remaining time for a coffee and went on the way to the cave about an hour later. The Cave of Petralona is a really interesting, very large volume stalactite cave with wonderful stalactites architecture near Petralona, located in Halkidiki. By chance a resident discovered the Cave of Petralona in 1959, in which he suggested a spring due to a dripping noise. The geologist and speleologists Ioannis Petrocheilos explored the various rooms of the cave later, which had remained hidden because of a rockslide for so long.

Petrocheilos found the fossil skull of a at time of death 30-year-old representative of the genus Homo in 1960, which was temporarily called Archanthropus europeaus petraloniensis. The skull was dated to 160,000 to 240,000 years of age in 1981, but it is possibly even at least 300,000 years old. The fossil may be according to both datings associated with the late Homo heidelbergensis; from Homo heidelbergensis showed by current conception of Neanderthals. The reference hall of this skull is called "Mausoleum".

In another part of the cave were found bones of wild animals, the "graveyard of giants". Today, the findings are kept in the Palaeontological Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Since throughout the cave may not be photographed or filmed, so we too cannot offer any pictures from inside the cave, however, we recommend a visit to the cave. In addition to the cave there is a museum of bones, teeth, tools, fossils, etc. issues, as well as a copy of the skull of Homo heidelbergensis.

Leaving the museum, we said goodbye to Axel, who had chosen the way back to the camper stop Zampetas passing the villages Rodokipos, Nea Gonia, Nea Iraklia, Epanomi and Plagiari. We already discussed during our trip, if the alternate route would make it more easy for Axel.

Shortly after our arrival Axel arrived back at the camper stop, he reported this time from about a very pleasant route  initially led by flatter hill of easy climbing directly to the coast. Quite suitable as route for guests on the camper stop Zampetas.

Please read as well:

Byzantine Potideia - ancient coin making and trading town

Agios Pavlos - The S. Pauls spring next to Neos Marmaras

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