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Mt. Olympus

Our first adventure outside of the area of our camp was to Litochoro. This town lays in the shadow of Mt. Olympus.  We came here to hike the Enipeus Gorge and say hi to Zeus.  We met our guide and took a taxi to our starting point, about half way up the mountain. We started by visiting an old monoestary that has been destroyed many times, lastly during World War II. Two monks still live there and are slowly rebuilding it to its former glory.  We were kindly provided skirts for our visit.

We hiked down to the cave of St. Dionisis where the order started. There is still a small church here and a spring providing the coldest, clearest water I'd ever experienced.  We crossed the river of the Gorge several times. At lunch we stopped for a dip in the freezing waters which was bracing to say the least. The water was crystal clear and we could watch tadpoles and frogs darting between the sharp rocks. It is a beautiful place where I would have stood happily for the rest of the day.  But, as we were miles from anywhere, we moved on.

From here the trail became more difficult, or, at least, my lets and heart decided it was more difficult. That plus the 96 degree weather...I'm pretty sure I died for a few minutes at some point.

There we many switch backs and very rocky and slippy conditions, but the vistas were well worth it. The triplet peaks of Olympus peeked out from behind the gorge walls at every turn and the river sounds waxed and waned as we walked toward town.    We finally emerged from the woods and stopped immediately at a bar where we sat at table where the river flowed between our feet, the cold, now a welcome numbing agent.

We had a gorgeous dinner with the hiking group, trying many Greek things, and had especially memorable homemade taziki. After sharing a spot of raki (a strong digestif made from the bi-products of wine making) it was time to head back to Veria.  I was very happy to have seen this more remote and mountainous part of Greece.  It was simply beautiful and everyone we met was exceedingly kind.

This post first appeared on A Work In Progress, please read the originial post: here

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