Thursday, November 24, 2011

a night of music-making in the chapel

stelios knows this region well, and so he invited us all to go camping next to a sweet little chapel on the hillside above the town where he was busking. we played tunes and made up stuff for a few hours. we unfortunately had neglected to buy wine, so the energy of the party was somewhat compromised without the influence of dionysos...

i played finger cymbals...

and i turned the lectern into a drum.... mary surprised herself by playing the bouzouki well... i think it was her first time ever on the instrument!

but stelios is a MASTER musician; he was generous and patient enough to play with a bunch of hippies from the north... you ROCK, stelios! (well, in a traditional cretan kind of way...)

panorama from olympus

Monday, November 14, 2011

stelios master of lyra

my friends pete and mary introduced me to a fabulous fellow: stelios the lyra-player.... here he is busking for his fellow country-men in a quaint-as-heck village (on the southeast slope of mount olympus....

Saturday, November 5, 2011

food of the gods

i took chocolate to the top of mount olympus and made an offering of it to zeus et alii, because the official linnean name of chocolate is cacao theobroma = food of the gods.

my new friends mary and pete shared a bit of the offering, and later we shared several liters of wine at the Refuge.

Friday, November 4, 2011

snow fields on mount olympus

keep in mind that this is QUITE high: 2800 meters or so.... this snow has already been melting off for a few days, but there is still quite a bit left on the trail....

magic appears

i mentioned to my hiking companions that there are chamois (a.k.a. gemsen) in this area, and then they were there-- we saw them just a minute or two after we referred to them! . a few minutes later one of my buddies mentioned birds, and then several crows swooped down on us.... a bit later we were talking about the lack of butterflies, and then we noticed a pair of them.... so i chanted "world peace... happiness for all sentient beings... world peace... happiness for all sentient beings..."

mule train on the trail

i thought of this as a concert.... a collection of bell-players processing up the mountain providing acoustic wonders for those who chose to listen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

sights and sites along the path to mount olympus

the path up the mountain crosses a river (creek?) several times, and every crossing includes a lovely pool with a waterfall. i am certain that they are brilliant little swimming holes during the summer, but it was WAY too cold to consider a dip in october...

this sacred cave features a spring which magically appears right out of the rock. the little hut was once a hermit's lodge and is now a chapel for passers-by.

this is the holy spring as it comes to the surface.

mushrooms on the way to mount olympus

these pretty fungi were growing on a log across the path on the way up to mount olympus. it is moist and cool in the thick deciduous forest... not at all like most of the rest of greece, which is quite dry.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

view from litochoro

the town of litochoro is the main starting-point for an ascent up mount olympus. this is how it looks in the morning: i was just heading out for the nine-hour hike up to the refuge. that big chunk of stone looks distant, but it was just the very beginning: look at how it appears from above (in a photo to be posted later).