Miraculous, spectacular and awe-inspiring!
Greetings from Limassol!
If you want to travel to fairytale forests and snow-capped mountains, with picturesque villages and hidden monasteries, then Greece is always the choice. Starting our trip from Thessaly our first destination was Elati, Pertouli and Neraidohiri, these three villages are being the ideal for winter sceneries. Our first stop was to take photos of one of the most picturesque of Greece's stone bridges, Palaiokarya Waterfall. The water that falls creates a magnificent image! This beautiful bridge stands there since the 16th century. It is a stone arched bridge with a length of 26 meters.
The word Meteora means literally 'hovering in the air' and this is exactly how you feel when you stand on the edge of these giant rocks.
The six monasteries are built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area. It is impossible to find simple words to describe the view and I won’t hesitate at all to say that it makes sense that this rare geological phenomenon is one of the mysteries of nature. Miraculous, spectacular and breath-taking!
They are also connected by roads so if you are coming by car and don't have all day to wander around you can also get close enough and then continue on foot. Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
We started the next day with a stop at Spilaio , in Grevena. What a majestic landmark! One of the many hidden gems...
It was impossible to reach the bridge by car due to the heavy snowfall so we decided to be a bit adventurous and take a small trek…Hmm, I wouldn’t say a bit nor a small! Without any water supplies, dressing for warmth, carrying our equipment, cameras, lenses, tripods and rubber boots to cross the river,… we walked down to the bridge.
If you are a nature enthusiast, you will definitely adore Portitsa Bridge. A great landmark between Spilaio and Lykotripa (Cave and Wolf Hole), a gorge stretches. The bridge stands tall and serves the needs of the locals to pass through the gorge. This is in fact the end of Aliakmon River, which is the largest river in Greece. The gorge created by two tall mountains creates a breathtaking picture. The canvas is amazing and visitors use Portitsa Bridge to cross the river or even take pictures. The bridge has been well preserved, as a local monument depicting the history of the wider area.
Our next destination was Kastoria, such a beautiful place but not one of my favourites. It has been associated with sad events and there is nothing I can do about it. Nevertheless, walking next to the lake a little bit before the dusk but after the sunset, was magical! All these different colours… a palette explosion!
An early trip to Prespes, just before the sunrise was like a wakeup call, I found myself on the shores of a frozen lake in Prespes, an hour trip from Kastoria. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an elevation of 853 m (2,798 ft).The whole area around the lakes is called Prespa by residents of Greece, Albania and Macedonia. It’s a veritable ark of wildlife and culture.
And that was when I witnessed the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard. The air was cold but not freezing, and the woods were silent. But all of a sudden, we heard a loud noise — like the crack of a whip. This was the ice in the frozen lake shifting. Believe it, my friends. It’s one of the coolest sounds you can hear. A frozen lake that looks like it’s been stopped in time, but in fact keeps shifting and moaning, sounding like a Star Wars blaster! Such a moment!
It makes so much sense that these places were among the favourite ones of Theodoros Angelopoulos. "It is a journey which is the initiation into life. On the road they learn everything - love and death, lies and truth, beauty and destruction. The journey is simply a way to focus on what life gives us all."