Choices

We are morning people. As a consequence, when on holiday, we generally get going to explore places early in the day. However, we have noticed that in many of these places, the sun is in the wrong direction for that perfect photo. Evening light would be better.

So, this time in Zagori, we decided to go on easy evening walks (see Tiny Joys for another evening walk in Zagori). Steeper, longer walks are not advised as you may find yourself out on a mountain or in a rocky ravine when the sun goes down. Not a good (certainly not safe) position to be in.

One evening, on the edge of the town of Monodendri in Zagori (Epirus, Greece), we were presented with a choice:

I find choices like this a metaphor for life as we are always making choices of what path to follow. I wonder if anyone else finds it odd that the graffito in the upper left corner of the sign reiterates that thought. The main cobbled path led to the gorge (or ‘Kanyon’ as the sign says), but we chose to go towards Grounia ‘Place’, an outlook on the edge of a ravine. It led us down a well defined wooded path.

It had rained earlier in Monodendri and must have been very localised since we were just on the other side of the gorge earlier that day and it was completely dry. The woods were still damp, the path soft, but not soggy underfoot. You could smell the fresh earth. Moss and lichen covered both rocks and trees.

The path was well marked with stones stacked into pillars at strategic spots, red slashes painted on rocks or red tags tacked to trees to guide you on your way, and occasional but helpful arrows pointing the direction.

Along the way, wild colchicum (autumn crocus) struggled to peek through the littered forest floor. As we approached the outlook, layered rock formations became more frequent.

At the end, we saw a wonderful vista across the Vikos gorge. It wasn’t the perfect day for raking evening light since it was overcast, but it was worth the walk.

On the other side at the edge of the gorge we could just spot the abandoned Monastery of Agia Paraskevi. We have been here on numerous occasions, approaching it by a cobbled path through the centre of the village, following a valley which leads to the Vikos gorge. The photograph below is greatly enlarged.

Because, below is what you actually see. You can just spot the monastery in the lower left of the image. It certainly puts the human scale in perspective!

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