The Mountain Men of Mount Parnassos Part 1
Mountain Man #1 Giorgos Korodimos
During another of my husband’s work trip to Arachova, I met two interesting men who both felt much connection with the mountains. I named both of them Mountain Man.
I’ve been asking for quotes from various businesses in order to organize a retreat type of tour happening in this region. We are blessed with great Greek connections and through my husband’s friends and colleagues, I get to meet many local people. So one thing lead to the other, I met up with Mountain Man #1 Giorgos Korodimos and his wife Helene and their children. Yes this is how things work here in Greece sometimes. You know one person and then their family and maybe the whole village if you are lucky.
Giorgos runs a trekking tour company which offers a variety of trekking tours as well as tailor made ones. Giorgos and Helene kindly explained to me that they couldn’t possibly include all my requests within the limited time – I looked at their brochure and wanted to see the pine forest, the olive grove, mountains and ancient site as well as the Corycian Cave. While deliberating whether to include the Cave, Giorgos said he could take me there to have a look if I have time. YES!!!
My husband and I have been fascinated by the cave ever since we watched a documentary about Delphi. Apparently the Oracle performed their rituals there as well as in Delphi and there are some other mysteries and mythology related to this place. Helene said people believed God Parnassos, who preceded Zeus, lived there and sometimes their clients requested guided tour specifically for this cave and many people had gone there just to pray.
Giorgos came and picked us up with his cute little four wheel drive and our impromtu tour began. The ride to Livadi, which is a village on high attitude, was really pleasant. But once we entered the dirt road, it became really bumpy but the scenery was WOW! We drove through pine forest onto windy road and whenever there was a break between the trees, we could look down on Livadi village, as well as look up the snow mountain. Whenever I feel down again, I shall remember this experience and that Earth is such a beautiful place!
And the Corycian Cave… at first it didn’t look much, as the entrance was quite small really. Once we went in however it was massive. It could probably contain three tennis courts side by side, and the roof was very high up, over 10 meters. There are also other rooms, meaning that there are passages leading to other openings. Giorgos said he had been to three while people believed that there are forty rooms in total. He said in order to go to the other rooms, we needed proper torches, shoes and climbing gear as some rooms go up.
We didn’t have the right gear to explore the second room, however, we could have stayed in the first massive room for hours. Again, at first sight, the cave didn’t look much other than the massiveness. However it came alive as Giorgos pointed out the patterns on the cave walls as well as the stalagmites that look like statues. I wondered if these are really natural or someone (humans or fairies) secretly worked on them! And the energy inside… it was both loving and immense. I felt loved and protected even though I usually find caves creepy. I read that human bodies are comparable to the planets and even the universe, and that Earth has the equivalence of organs and chakras as an human body. If this is true, Corycian Cave definitely is the womb. No wonder people come to pray for fertility.
Back to Giorgos the Mountain Man. What made me want to write about him in the first place was his frankness. He felt as honest and pure as the view from up the mountain on a clear day. Perhaps being in the nature so much has shaped him like he is now; or perhaps his purity leaded him to the nature? I began to ask him (‘too many’ as my husband would say) questions.
Giorgos started his trekking tours business about four years ago. Before that, he did other unrelated jobs such as working at the ski centre. He said the downside about the ski centre job was that he didn’t get to ski. He had always enjoyed outdoor activities and being in the mountains as often as he could. One day this trekking tour business idea came to him and he never looked back. We all agreed that when one’s hobby becomes one’s job, it’s the best.
I could not resist asking how Giorgos and his wife Helene who is from Athens met because love stories are my favourite kind of stories. Giorgos seemed to be on the shy side, although not when he talked about trekking and related subjects. How did they meet? ‘Trekking.’ Ah-ha! Helene and some friends joined one of Giorgos’ tours. Giorgos said because he had a hangover that day from the previous night, he was more talkative than normal. It was a love at first sight from both sides, however, they didn’t get together until a few months later.
Helene had a friend from Arachova who had Giorgos’ number and she asked him for it. The friend refused at first on the ground that it wouldn’t be good for her and Giorgos to get together because they lived so far apart. I found that it is common in Greece that people interfere with each other’s lives. I used to think that people should mind their own business. Now, more and more, I think perhaps this kind of interference is like a test to see for example, how much Helene wanted Giorgos in her life. When next time a friend or family member try to tell you not to do something, would you thank them for their good intention and ask yourself, ‘Am I prepared for the challenge?’?
Obviously Helene did get Giorgos’ number and they got together and now live happily with their lovely children in one of the most beautiful place on Earth. They seem to enhance each other’s life too as Giorgos said he was everything about the nature and Helene was everything about technology and she’s been helping Giorgos on the social media side as well as with English and French (she is half French and half Greek) interpretation. A perfect match made in the heavenly mountains.
All images except the one with Giorgios and four wheel drive were taken by Constantinos Anastasakis. I do not get any personal gain from writing this or any other articles in my blog apart from the joy of telling stories and being able to recommend good honest people.