Greece – the realm of the Olympian Gods, the land of azure waters
For the 3rd year in a row, Greece, the realm of the Olympian Gods, the land of azure waters has embraced our steps unraveling its mountain trails, its magically clear waters, alluring us with relaxing sunbathing.
Embarked upon the Bus of Joy, we reach the Hellenic land on Thursday morning. The enthusiasm replaces the lunch time with swimming in the Aegean Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea.
On Friday morning, the best weather conditions meet our deep hopes and open us the door towards Mytikas Peak. Due to its altitude (2918 m), our climbing starts with the sunrise. Wearing our Oxygen green T-shirts, we begin the exploration of the imposingly Mount Olympus disclosing its dried springless slopes, with no flora from 2500 m, but radiating a lot of beneficial energy.
The E4 trail starts from Litochoro going towards Pironia and leaves you a moment of slow breathing at Shelter A, the last place where one can find water. From Shelter A to Skala Peak (2800m), the trail offers 3 – 3 ½ hours of continuous ascension. Each of my three ascensions on Skala is different. The first one I felt it terribly long, the second one I knew what to expect, but this year, the trail seemed to me shorter than ever.
There are 30 more minutes to climb from Skala to Mytikas Peak. It is actually the most difficult part of the whole trail: a narrow rocky passage that it is easy to climb only if you use both your hands. Once on Mytikas, our eyes are charmed by the peaks around the highest of all: Skolio (2911 m), Skala (2866 m) and Stefani (2909 m). We enjoy the moment, the place, the landscapes to the fullest, but the cruel clock doesn’t stop, pushing us back towards Shelter A and further to Litochoro where the Bus of Joy waits for us. The running time of the whole trail (to the peak and back) was 12 hours, its length of 20 km and the slope level difference of 3800 m. 40 Oxygenated mountaineers shouts at once “Oxygeeeeen!!!!”. Those 2918 m of Mytikas Peak offers us the most magnificent sound effects propagating our happiness all over the Olympian valleys.
On Saturday morning we relax our muscles on the fine sands of Skiathos Island, dancing on Greek beats and eating Romanian dishes. Once again, time proves not to be our best friend. Yet, in one single day, we succeed to enjoy some full hours of sailing, swimming, jumping in the sea, dancing, but the most important to experience one of the most animating sensations while on big swim-belts dragged by a boat with a 30 km/hour speed.
On Sunday morning, whether we like it or not, we have to nostalgically embark upon the Bus of Joy, after our last octopus delight. We love Olympus and after 3 years in a row, coming back here is like coming home. But the end of this expedition is the beginning of a new one. At the end of next summer, Oxygen will organize a more magical, magnificent, amazing complete experience of Greek mountain and sea. Stay tuned!