Good evening to you all! I hope you are well and that 2023 has entered for you with joy and optimism.
Lately I didn’t manage to write here on the blog and show you photos of everything I did during the holidays. Looks like I needed a break from the computer and social media. But I thought that even belatedly it is worth sharing with you some images from the first days of the year.
Two days before New Year’s Eve I visited the wider area around Asopos of Laconia, which has great naturalistic interest and is very close to the place where I grew up. My company and I wandered around on some hiking trails were there, which unfortunately weren’t very well marked. We were looking for a long time for a large cave that we had seen on the map, but unfortunately we never found it. In fact, we met a shepherd with his flock and he told us that this cave is quite hidden inside the mountain and that it is not easy to find. So the mystery has peaked around this place and we may try again in the future to find it.
Nevertheless, we managed to climb to Paleokastro (an old castle), which is preserved in a ruined state, on a mountain top southwest of Papadianika. After 1463, the castle came successively under the rule of the Venetians and the Turks. It was used as a refuge for local residents during pirate and Turkish attacks.
The weather has been excellent for the month of December, which makes the excursions pleasant, but has troubled me quite a bit. I’m looking forward to some snow or even rain and fog and the smell of crystal clear air… But that day we wore thin clothes and lay on the grass. The whole landscape reminded me of the Shire from Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The view from up there was unique. We could see the entire Laconic gulf as far as Gythio and Kythira. If someone wishes to visit the castle, he only has to head from Papadianika to Daimonia. After about 2 km an impressive steep hill stands out. The hike takes less than an hour and is not very demanding.
The rest of the vacation time was spent relaxing and taking walks in the nursery and the garden around the house. It’s that feeling that comes over you when you’re in the place with most of your childhood memories, close to parents and grandparents and you feel like everything is safe. It seems very normal to wind down completely, wake up a little later than normal and enjoy simple everyday moments. I don’t know if you recognize this feeling too…
After a few days I returned to my base, in Stemnitsa. I made a small excursion to the Vrontos (=Thunder) waterfall, which is located somewhere between Karytaina and Andritsaina. Despite the popularity of the villages of mountainous Arcadia, the Vrontos waterfall remains one of the little secrets of the wider region. It takes its name from the thunder that its waters make as they fall from a height of 17 meters, in the dense vegetation.
And here you can see what it’s like when I go out for nature photography, a look behind the camera. I tried to roll up the legs of my jeans to keep them from getting wet, but that didn’t go too well in the end. By a misjudgment I found myself in a spot where the water was somewhat deep and so I got wet up to my legs. The water was so cold I could feel my exposed skin burning until it turned red. But now I’m used to making such sacrifices to get a good photo.
It was quite cold there as the spot doesn’t get much sun during the day, especially in winter. As I stood under the waterfall small drops of water rained down, bringing me completely back to the present. My ears were pierced by the sound of splashing water, that element without which there is no life on this planet. Harmony and sense of belonging… I had to be very careful because in some places the stones were sliding, but in some others it was not sliding at all, which impressed me…
Just before we left the spot, out of nowhere there was a huge group that had just finished a rafting trip. One of the teachers in our group solved the question about the spots where the stones did not slide. The answer lay in the fact that these brown masses were not stones but petrified wood (!) from the trees that had fallen into the stream and had been carved so perfectly by the water that it fooled you very easily.
And somewhere here this little mention of what happened with the arrival of 2023 comes to an end. A new circle of life begins and I can’t wait to see what it will bring! I’m hoping for something related to creativity, love and a little more self-awareness.
I send you my hugs. Have fun until the next article.