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Sleeping under the stars on the top of Mount Olympus

Sleeping under the stars on the top of Mount Olympus

Don’t you love gazing up at the night sky and enjoying the beautiful light show that nature provides- the stars, galaxies and constellations. And don’t you wish you could capture and live in that moment forever?

Konstantinos Vasilakakos’ dream came true- he got to sleep, dream and take pictures on the peak of Mt Olympus, Mytikas.

Vasilakakos insanely captured the beautiful celestial creations in the sky, while on top of the mountain of the gods.

Ο ύπνος των Θεών…"Σύμφωνα με το θρύλο, μια ανθρώπινη ψυχή που θα κοιμηθεί πάνω από 1000 νύχτες έξω στις κορυφές,…

Posted by Konstantinos Vasilakakos on Thursday, November 19, 2020

 

Vasilakakos explains his ‘star’ experience:

The sleep of the gods

According to legend, a human soul that will sleep more than 1,000 nights out on the peaks, free from selfishness, conquests and ideals, will be able to cross to eternity …

I will tell you an eerie story … It took 5 years, 3 failed nights at the top of Olympus and a big gap to get this photo here. In 2014 I slept at this point under a pattern of clouds and lightning. In 2015 in the same landscape I cuddled with clouds and humidity. In fact, I had uploaded a photo from the same place in the clouds where you could not see anything …

From 2015 until last year, 2019, I had not been to Olympus again. I went through my own hardships, periods of despair with big doses of nihilism. My mind was stuck on this diamond sky that I never photographed.

During these years I learned from my mistakes, I looked for ways to fight the humidity on the mountains and upgrade my equipment. At the same time, my knowledge of mountaineering has improved considerably. So, on this occasion, I returned in September 2019 to the Plateau of the Muses. I had to finish some pending issues with the gods…

It was 9/25/2019 when I decided to go to Mytikas for the night. Alone, as always. The climb was a pure pleasure. On the other hand, when I reached the top it was cloudy and foggy. But now something had changed inside me.

In the past I had approached the top and had a plan to photograph the night sky. Having experienced eerie and unique things on mountaintops, this obsession has gone. Now I climb to the top because only then do I get the courage to continue to live in this human prison of mine.

It had been very dark when I found myself in a cloud of fog with minimal visibility. No stars or magic, nothing … Just a cloud on top. Having eaten dinner I lay down in my sleeping bag to be warm. The temperature was close to 3 to 4 degrees. There were very few spots of clear sky…
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So I lay down, listening to the Rainmaker and looking at the void. I was so calm inside. So calm, passionate about photography and at the same time enjoying the moment. Anyway, I have all the paranoia to go up every day in a row until I find a clear sky …

With this thought I was looking at the void and I was so calm. I have never been so calm. I was not asking for anything from the mountain, just to be there, at the top .. Suddenly this magic happened: The clouds were gone!

The night had a westerly wind where humidity and clouds rose from Kazania. I never understood what happened. Simply, the clouds disappeared in a minute! Frightened, I jumped out of the sleeping bag, grabbed the camera and barefoot on the rocks I started photographing the universe .. I said to myself it would last a few seconds, all this …

Finally the whole night passed with a clear sky! I photographed everything that I had  repressed inside me for so many years .. I felt a peace of mind and completion. One of the biggest and most difficult chapters is over. In the end I took this photo to show you what it is like to sleep on the top of Olympus, the house of the gods and legends …

It is eerie, you feel the whole mountain in your hands. You feel the whole world in your breath and life / death fade. For as long as the night lasts, time has stopped.

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece. It is located in the Olympus Range on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, between the regional units of Pieria and Larissa, about 80 km (50 mi) southwest from Thessaloniki.

Mt Olympus has 52 peaks and deep gorges. The highest peak, Mytikas meaning “nose”, rises to 2,917 metres (9,570 ft). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence.

Olympus is notable in Greek mythology as the home of the Greek gods, on Mytikas peak. It is also noted for its exceptional biodiversity and rich flora. It has been a National Park, the first in Greece, since 1938. It is also a World Biosphere Reserve.

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