Sunday came, chilly and sunny, giving another face entirely to our surroundings. Thanks to early night, we woke up before the sun, to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises. It lit the horizon into flaming orange, contrasted by the pure white clouds right underneath our feet. The colors the sun shone to the mountaintops, breathtaking views!
Hearty breakfast shoveled down and we headed back down the mountain to our car. We had the Mytikas, bathing in sunlight, looking after us as we wandered on with sore muscles crying for help. The lower end of the trail is easy going, well walked path, so we advanced fast.
The difference in surroundings was immense. The day before, when we made our way up, everything was whitewashed, hidden in clouds.
Now we could see the surrounding peaks and the full colors of the nature. Usually it is rather boring to take the same trail back, where you came from, but this time it was different.
We had planned to have a relaxed day after climbing Olympus. So we took the car and headed for the coast. In a few moments, we left the wintery mountains behind and embraced the warmth of sunny seaside. Out of the mainland Greece, there are three narrow peninsulas pointing South-East. The middle one of those was our destination.
During summer months that area is filled to the limit with tourists. Now, in the end of October, we found empty beaches and quiet roads. We stopped by small bays to admire the blue Mediterranean, shining under the sun. Found quite some olive trees and again, unbelievably nice and warm hearted Greeks.
The Chalkidiki peninsula has a big national park. The terrain seems to be full of heather. heather calls for honey. And we passed row after row of beehives. Stepping out of the car and getting close to those boxes brings the smell of sweet honey into your nose, especially if there is some sun warming the hives.
Sure, the nature, olive farms and sea was beautiful. But we were in for a real treat. After dipping our tired feet into the sea, we started leaving for the airport, driving back on the other coast of the peninsula. After turning behind a corner there was, in front of us, the second highest peak of Greece. A mountain growing straight out of the sea.
We had a marvelous view on the Mount Athos. Athos towers over the autonomous monk state, that occupies the third one of the Halkidiki peninsulas. Reaching almost up to 3000 meters of height, it is rather impressive sight. I would have been happy to climb it, but unfortunately, no women allowed.
So we were left to the shores, admiring the best from far. We did catch a very beautiful sight of it, with setting sun behind us, and pale moon right next to the mountain, surrounded by calm sea. I could have just stayed there, breathing it all in, letting the evening surround us. But there was a plane to catch.
Driving towards Thessaloniki, we were surprised by yet another amazing scene. The sun making is journey down, touching the side of the mountain we had climbed just the other day. Creating a beautiful landscape with the silhouette of Olympus, and all the shades of blue.
All in all, Greece plated the table with immense beauty, versatility and friendliness. We experienced pain, tiredness and joy. Plenty of joy. I think me and Waffle are now even closer to each other than before. If that is even possible.
I am lucky to have him.Some more pictures can be found here: Our Flickr account