Good evening and have a good week!
The weekend was really heavy with rain and fog here. On Friday, however, the weather was excellent!
With my company from the school of silversmithing, we thought of hiking to the top of Mainalo, Ostrakina. The altitude of the summit is 1981 meters and the walking route is quite easy, around one to one and a half hours. On such a beautiful and warm day, the mountain excursion was just what we needed to recharge our batteries.
We started with the cars from Stemnitsa and drove to Tripoli and then to the ski resort. As I was going there for the first time, I couldn’t wait to see what the natural scenery would look like, what the ski slopes would be like without snow, and what the view from the top of the mountain would be like. We left the cars near the shelter, filled our water bottles and started to hike.
After about fifteen minutes of walking, the first beautiful views towards the various points of the horizon began to appear. The whole scenery was so beautifully bucolic, the company relaxed and carefree. Slowly, each at his own pace and with some breaks, we moved forward. We had with us the two dogs of the company, Summer and Noda. They were both so happy that they went out into nature for a long walk. Ready to explore! The “moms” Elina and Eva did great with the challenge of holding them by the leash the whole way.
As I write now and look at the photos, I remember the landscape from up there, but also the various paths I have walked in Mainalo. I can justify some things in my head now. It explains the fact that “Mainalo” in ancient Greek means holy fury, i.e. the divine allegory that wild nature brings. From this mountain began the worship of the god Pan, by the Arcadians. It is a beautiful mountain and really worth exploring.
During the hike I spent many moments alone. Whether they were in front or further back, I tried to keep my fellow travelers relatively far away from me so that I could take pictures of them, even with the telephoto lens. Like the next picture, when I called Ismeni from afar and as soon as she turned to look at me, this result came out. This photo reminds me of something from old movies. A cute girl among the ears of corn.
In the group, all were very discreet and calm, but without losing the team spirit at all. As if we all needed to get in touch with the mountain and ourselves. The place was all ours, there was no one else around. Perhaps this played a part in the fact that we experienced this visit as healing. Of course, the beautiful view of the neighboring mountains and the fresh air contributed to this.
When we reached the top we took our time to calm down, eat dry food and then chatted about various topics… Some rowed, towards the tops of the surrounding mountains, Artemisium, Aorania and Erymanthos, Lycaeus, Taygetus and Parnonas.
Others lay on the grass and others stayed for a few minutes with their eyes closed. The place was silent, except for the breeze blowing our hair.
Two birds probably hawks or crows, I’m not sure, they flew close to us quite low and I ran to catch them with the camera. They were very imposing and seemed so free and autonomous. Wild birds are incredible, so precious and beautiful. Their nobility and power are enviable.
Let me be on the job! I was drawn to Ioanna, fortunately because I usually get absorbed behind the camera, I always take pictures of others and I often don’t have any image of me.
Before we left we took commemorative photos under the Greek flag. I set up the tripod with the timer counting down and ran to the spot the kids had reserved for me. It was a relaxed and genuine moment with no frills…
I shall never forget these images of the light falling so tenderly upon the figures as we left the summit behind us.
On the way down it was quite slippery and I even thought of various bad scenarios of falling down and risking hitting the camera… Until I actually slipped just before the end, but luckily the camera was not harmed, it was more like a gentle slide. And I wasn’t the only one who slipped away from my company, so watch out if any of you hike there.
Hiking is a wonderful sport, with many health benefits, both physical and mental. The more one climbs mountains, the more one’s endurance improves. So if you are near a mountain, even if you live in cities, I suggest you give it a try!
Thanks for reading this really big article.