I fell in love and I can not help it. Even in my dreams I am thinking of it. I wake up with THAT image in my head. As soon as I close my eyes, it is there again: the Vikos Gorge. One of the most magical places I have ever been.
It was beautiful, rough, fairy-tail-like, mystical even. I fell in love with it while the sun wasn’t even shining and I was wearing my raincoat! Or maybe that is why I fell in love. Maybe because it wasn’t perfect. It was real and it didn’t had any postcard feelings. Somehow the Vikos Gorge really touched me.
For those who do not know what the Vikos Gorge is, a little bit of information. This canyon got into the Guinness Book of Records in 1997 as the world’s deepest canyon. You can find it in Zagoria, part of the Pindus Mountains in northern Greece and it is around 20km long.
If you are so close to such a ‘world phenomenon’ it has to be on your Bucket List to visit. Together with (of course) friends and dogs, we drove to a small village called Monodendri (means: single tree) to start a trail that leads down into the gorge.While we were driving towards the mountains, we saw a lot of grey clouds hanging around the top of the mountains. Crossing our fingers that it wouldn’t rain to much, we got out of the car and started the trail. A long path like stairs, made out of stones down into the gorge. Slippery and drizzly. In total we descended ±700m towards the river at the bottom of this canyon. Because of the rain of the past week, the river was active. Clear green-blue water and at some parts even loud. The scenery changed from leafless trees, covered in some kind of white-grey-green fungus that looked like deep sea coral, to a fairy tail forest covered with soft green moss. When you looked up, the top of the rims were in the clouds. And on the walls of this gorge, trees grow.
We followed the trail for about 7,5km. After that we had to turn to make it back up in time. At the end of the day, more clouds and fog wandered into the gorge. When we reached the top of the stairs, I saw a forest full of leaflesstrees with raindrops like diamonds on the edge of their branches. Again mystical.
I don’t know what happend but this place made a huge impression on me. It was immens. Of course when you would visit in high season (spring/autumn) you will find also other people on the trail. It is in the end a famous trail. But we were lucky: we were the only people that day.
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