A Walk in the Mountains From Omalos to Kallergi

Sometimes you are trying to run away from your life by looking at the stars. Then again you find yourself in places that bring you a step closer to them. And when you are there, at the calmness of the mountains, you understand that there is no need to reach for the stars, you just have to open your eyes and listen carefully to the silence of the rock, the bush and the clouds. Step by step, all thoughts depart from your mind and you reach your destination free of troubles. You take a deep breath and finally you are ready to smile. You look around to grasp a final view of the scene and search for your fellow walkers. Good vibes. Raki is poured in the glass, a wood is thrown at the stove, never has the cold felt so cleansing and the heat so sweet. Beautiful life. Simple.

It all started late at night. I think it was past midnight when we started walking the path from Omalos plateau to the Kallergi mountain refuge. A clear sky and a bright moon made any lights unnecessary.

There is nothing more refreshing than waking up early when you are out in the wild. Especially when you dont have to trouble yourself thinking about work and everyday things. You can just enjoy the view, as you feel on top of the world.

As the sun sets I am rewarded with images hard to describe. I feel thrilled.

I set up my tripod and hold a cup of coffee. Despite the rather warm day, as the sun sets, it feels really chilly. The blending of cold weather and high excitement, results in a permanent smile on your face. It felt good.

I go back inside. People are gathered around, each one saying his own stories or simply silent enjoying the lack of phones ringing, cars or other distracting noises. Just voices and laughter. And plenty of raki. It seems quite cretan to say so, but you always find a reason to drink raki. To comfort you when you are sad or to cheer you up when you are happy. To cool yourself when it is hot or to warm yourself in the harsh winter.

The power goes out early in the refuge. After that only candles and small oil lamps provide light. Another nice touch.

I wake up in the morning. After having calmed down the previous days, I find the coming of more people a welcoming touch.

Weather changes rapidly. By the time we are ready to leave, it is like a storm is coming.

Could it be that the mountain didn’t want us to leave?

I can keep that thought and feel welcome next time.

Crete 2014.


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