A true place of the gods: Mount Olympus (June 2022)

Right now, as I’m writing this post about my hike on Mount Olympus in June 2022, it’s November 2022 and it feels so crazy to remind myself of the day when I hiked Mount Olympus. Even the text of this post feels weird to me because I wrote at the day after the hike.

Since that day so much has changed. I experienced so much. The text and the memories both feel like from another world, from another universe. Like from someone else. And this may be the most impressive about this journey, this life as a nomad on this potentially never-ending journey without a destination but full of experiences, change, and growth.

I love hiking and mountaineering and made my experiences but I didn‘t expect what the Olymp would be like.

A good friend shared with me the route she had been taking a few years ago and it looked very promising but it included staying on a mountain hut and I always thought that living on a big mountain in Rosinante would be a blast. So I researched a bit and found a place at about 2300 meters where it is possible to go by car.

After a big thunderstorm (the loudest I‘ve ever witnessed) at the beach, I had been living, the weather reports predicted pretty good weather at Mount Olympus for Monday. And so I started my journey to the biggest mountain in Greece on Saturday. On the way, I met a very nice farmer and because he didn‘t speak German or English, he called his daughter who is living in Germany. We had a nice chat via the phone.

The next morning I went on, reached Olympus Mountain, and started the offroad track toward my destination. The track wasn‘t that bad but there were a few mud pits we had to pass. The view was amazing and I felt very amazed about it. The track got very steep and rocky and lead just straight up the mountain. And after some bends, it lead to an area between the mountains and we drove into the clouds. It was awesome. After some kilometers and at 2300 meters, just three kilometers away from my destination, out of a sudden, a big snow field piled up in front of us. A small offroad car parked in front of it and after investigating, I quickly decided that there is no chance to cross it without digging snow for hours. Parking at the snow field and starting my hike the next day from there, I did not like because when there is one snow field there maybe coming something else down the mountain soon and there wasn‘t any really good parking spot. So I turned around and head back to the main road. In the park4night app, I found a spot in front of a military base and after hours of driving I felt quite tired and so I went for it. It was a really small military base at Olympus Mountain with armed guards etc. and a small parking space in front of it. You can park and stay for the night and between 7 and 18 o‘clock you can cross their gate to hike the mountains. It felt weird, but why not. And it‘s cool when Rosinante has some guards while I‘m hiking.

The weather prediction was okay, but not super good. Temperatures from 2 to 9 degrees Celsius and there has been a change of rain and thunderstorms for the next day. And quite a bit of wind as well. Because the last days had been sometimes rainy and because of the big thunderstorm at the beach, I was not super relaxed. But when I started my hike at 7 o‘clock the next morning I‘ve been quite positive and the weather looked good. After telling the guards my name and mobile phone number, I entered the base, walked through it, and started my climb.

The first part lead up a ski slope that got steeper and steeper. It was not very comfortable or beautiful to hike and in combination with the weather prediction, my motivation dropped a bit. But then I saw the first summit of Mount Olympus. My first destination. And there were only a few clouds around it and that boosted my motivation because I saw the chance of actually getting to one of the summits and not only seeing a cloud from the inside. And so I did the climb of 970m on a distance of 3.7 kilometers pretty fast, got to the first summit Agios Antonios at 2816m, and had a magnificent view! The wind was strong and it‘s been cold, but it was beautiful.

I was hyped and started to run to the next summit. The wind got less and the temperatures higher and in just a while I reached the summit of Skolio at 2905m. At that point, the weather was super nice. And the view was astonishing. I’ve never seen such impressive cliffs and rock formations in my life.

So I got hyped and because I could see summit Skala from there, I went for it and reached it shortly after at 2882m. Until this moment I‘ve met nobody else. At Skala, a group of hikers took a break and enjoyed the view. And this view has been incredible! From Skala, you can see the real Olymp. And when you see this one it‘s so easy to understand why some people in the past thought that it might be a place where the gods could hang around. It’s astonishing!

After taking my break and enjoying the view, I thought about going back to Rosinante. The weather had been very good but I felt not very confident about taking the route to the Olymp. Although I know that most routes are easier once you are in, this one looked very impressive. I checked the weather report again and it has been promising. And at that moment out of nowhere a guy asks me if I was planning to climb the Olymp. Turned out that he was from Germany as well and did not feel super confident to take the route alone. Although he might have done it alone, he felt better in company. After quickly exchanging our climbing experiences etc. I quickly decided to take the route with him. And it has been awesome! The views, the cliffs, the crevices, the weather, the other German guy, and the route itself: everything has been fantastic! When we reached the Olymp at 2918m I‘ve been so thankful for everything: for being there, the weather, all the beauty, and everything else.

After taking a short break we headed back for the Skala summit and on the way, more clouds pulled up. All the time we were very safe and had no problems taking the route but when these stones would get wet… I thought it would be getting very tricky. When we reached Skala I felt super all the way and a bit of pressure released itself from me. After another chat, both of us started our way back which lead us in opposite directions. The clouds got stronger but it was still warm and I was just super hyped and happy all the way. After passing the summits Skolio and Agios Antonios the weather got super nice and the view was still magnificent. It‘s been like walking through the prototype of a fertile and beautiful mountain landscape and I had a super awesome time heading back to Rosinante.

When I reached Rosinante, I could see the dark clouds behind me. After I packed everything together and started Rosinante to search for a new home, the first raindrops hit the windshield.

What a day! I‘m so thankful and everything for how everything developed. And I‘m very proud because at no point in this whole adventure I have been stressing myself.