Friday 24 April 2009


Not the common name for a Russian maiden but a place in land locked Greece.

Rumour has it that the city is named after a nymph with whom Poseidon, the god of the sea, mated. So according to mythology, it's natural for this land locked central part of Greece to feature its own dive centre.

I had previously heard about a fresh water lake surrounded by hills and plains from Merryn and Kosta of Aquacore Divers in Larisa and agreed to dive it during my next visit to this vast agricultural area of central Greece which is almost a four hours drive from Athens.

What's so special about diving in this fresh water lake? Interesting and unusual things like patches of boiling/bubbly sand along the bottom of the lake , unexploded world war 2 ordinance, easy access and most importantly the beauty, solitude and serenity of the place.

Water temperature was a cool 16 degrees Celsius and luckily for me, I managed to fit into one of Aquacore Divers' dry suits (they must be the only outfit in Greece providing dry suits for hire).

Although familiar with diving dry, this was the first time I dove in a crushed neoprene suit, and was also provided with larger fins to accommodate the boots and much needed extra weights (14 Kgs with a 12 litre steel 200 Bar cylinder).

Entrance is a simple walk-in from a muddy shore and good buoyancy is required to avoid stirring the fine silty bottom. It was unusual not sensing the taste of saltwater as well as having to carefully fin your way through occasional sections of reeds.

The shallow and relaxing dive which lasted just under an hour worked up an appetite and it wasn’t long before we were enjoying coffee and snacks at a roadside cafe.

Thanks Merryn and Costa for making it happen.