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Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

I want to go back to Greece! From all the countries I have been to, Greece is the one in which I wish to return incessantly because, somehow, there I felt very much at home being surrounded by a special, different nature and culture that just wanted to be discovered.

From Romania to Greece, passing by Bulgaria

The journey with the car from Bucharest to Leptokaria lasted for about 10 hours, passing through Bulgaria and than through the northern parts of Greece. Even if the road trip was kind of long, I didn’t get bored because the changing landscapes kept me occupied and curious most of the time.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

It was very interesting to observe how the configuration of the terrain visibly transforms as I was advancing south, as well as the aspect of the Greek people who have one of the most beautiful, picturesque and authentic architecture of the places where they live. They managed to beautifully integrate the living places in the natural landscapes, thus, the human settlements do not disturb or are not in a big contrast with the environment, which, in my opinion, is an aspect that should always be taken in consideration for having a healthy and prosperous culture.

The region of Leptokaria: the simple life 

Greece: the sea and the mountains

As I was walking and moving around the area of Leptokaria, I was pay attention to the small details of the houses: most of them were colored in white with the windows painted in a nice bright blue and the backyards were filled with olive trees or fig trees. Almost everybody was respecting this way of building and arrangement the home, thus,  the overall city scenery was quite definite, light and relaxing to the eye.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Leptokaria in the spring time: a quiet holiday destination at the Aegean Sea 

Leptokaria is actually a well known summer holiday destination which once was fishing village. Back in the days, Leptokaria used to be a fishing village, but now, actually, the place is a well known little summer holiday destination. Because it happened to be the end of May when I was there, the location was really not crowded by foreign tourists, so I got to enjoy plenty of silence and an entire and completely empty beach. Speaking of that, because Leptokaria is situated in the Thessaloniki Gulf, its beaches with sand gravel belong to the wonderful Aegean Sea.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

The sea and the mountain together 

Sitting at the beach was very pleasant, but, unfortunately, the sea’s water was kind of chilly, so swimming in it ended up to be a little bit challenging. What I loved the most about sitting at the beach was the impressive landscapes I could see and enjoy: looking in front I had a full horizon of blue water and turning back I had same mighty high mountains with snow on their ridges and which were just calling me to discover their hidden paths and places.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

The mountains that I was seeing belong to the Mount Olympus National Park. So I was surrounded by mountains and sea, what I could wished for more? But I indeed wanted more, I desired to change the perspective by going up the mountains and looking down at the vast stretch of blue water.

Entering the Mount Olympus National Park 

In one day, alongside with my family members, I start a journey through the mountains, so we drove with the car from Leptokaria to Prionia, the journey lasting for about 1 hour because we have stopped a few times on the way to admire the views and to get to know the new environment we have just entered.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

As we were descending up, the Aegean Sea was starting to appear for in the distance creating, together with the forest mountains, and the human settlements near to the beaches, a one of a kind spectacular sight and seascape. We were so lucky that day regarding to the weather because the sky was clear of any kind and allowed us to enjoy even the most far away landscapes.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Prionia, the beginning of the trail through the Mount Olympus

After the road finished, I arrived at Prionia, a place from where the mountain trail starts. The foot path I was about to follow and guide my way through these unknown for me mountains was marked with an yellow rhomb, being the European hiking route E4.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

The forests 

The first portions of the trail introduced me to same peaceful green forests, there and there, the terrain was rocky, but there were build many wooden stairs and railings to support the roughness of the ground and help the hikers climbing or descending the mountain.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

The more I climb, the steeper the terrain became as well as rockier, thus, going up was pretty challenging and tiring, but also pleasing due to everything that was surrounding me: a changing landscape with many forests, valleys, ridges and the Aegean Sea.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

What happened to those trees?

At some point I was totally amazed by a type of coniferous tree: there was an area with many such trees which were growing oddly inclined, parallel to the ground as if they have been beaten by the wind or caught by avalanches. Walking on the path, among those curious but interesting trees was probably my favorite part of the entire trail.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Arriving at the "A" Mountain Refuge

After a quite long hike which have lasted approximately 3 to 4 hours, including many breaks for taking photos and having snacks, I finally reached The refuge “A”, a resting place that offers both restaurant and accommodation.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

The outside terrace of the Refuge "A" was interestingly build with lots of stones so it will resist the harsh conditions of the mountain. What was even more appealing from here was the view over the mighty heights of the Olympus Mountain.

The greek Gods were watching over

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Looking between the trees, I could see up in the distance the highest altitude of those mountain, namely the Mytikas peak which raises up at almost 3000 meters. How is it possible, in the same day I was in the morning at the sea level and later on I am closer to the highest point in the entire Greece? Wow! No words for that!

"The Home of Gods" of Ancient Greece appeared very difficult and challenging to be climbed, being covered, from time to time, by a thick layer of clouds. I wasn’t prepared and in time that today to meet with the Greek goods at a higher altitude, so I was pleased only with the extraordinary views that I could perceive from the “A” Refuge.

Greece: the sea and the mountains

Greece: the sea and the mountains

The Mount Olympus is for sure one of the most known tourist destination that Greece has, a proof being the many other people around the refugee, enjoying a drink, catching a breath on their way up to the highest peaks or looking at the landscapes. Really, the high fortress of the Olympus was constantly watching us, but we were not properly equipped to climb it and we would had not enough time to return to Prionia on day light, thus. We decided to stay around the “A” Refugee for a little bit more and than to descend the mountain.

Take me back to Greece sometime!

Greece: the sea and the mountains

And from this experience comes my desire to go back to Greece. I feel like I have only scratched the surface of what this country has to offer, so I can not wait to go back there and climb the Mount Olympus wholly as well as the other natural attraction which are spread as the other natural attraction which are spread all around its territory, either on the continent or in the islands.

My journey in Greece was like a movie trailer, I tasted from it and I liked so much I don’t say that I am not happy and thankful for what I already got the chance to discover, but I just want a little bit more because I know that Greece has so much in store to offer.    

 


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