Greece is the first country on our trip where the boarder police had a huge smile on their face when they saw our group of vans entering their country. A warm welcome, without any problems, inspections, etc… It felt almost bizarre so I wondered if there was a connection with the shitty financial crisis and the welcoming of tourists…;-)
Anyways, driving through this country felt great, Olive trees everywhere and the fact that you’re following sings with Athens written on them.
Our destination was Meteora, and it was absolutely breathtaking! The countryside was unreal, almost like in a fantasy film. Meteora is a little park with 250 towers. On the top of some of them were built some impressive monasteries. We had the chance to climb on these huge towers made up of pure multipitch routes.
For me this really was fun because I do a lot of multipitch routes and I’m used to climbing calmly and carefully. I must add that there were not a lot of bolts. With few bolts, the number one rule was to not fall, which was difficult for people as there was little room for error. I did a couple of five star routes, all between 6a and 6c.
It was a pure pleasure for me to climb on these mystical towers. I felt really good climbing and it was such a big pleasure to lead these routes for some of my best friends who climb less strong. During these days I am reminded why I love multipich climbing and why I love sharing the experience with other people.
Besides all the peace and calmness, I have to tell you that I had a huge performance during my last day: We went out climbing with Sean Villenova and photographer Guillaume Vallot to shoot in an incredible crag. While I was climbing the first pitch I had to rest a little so that the photographer was able to shoot in a good position. Guillaume had two huge cameras with him and while was shooting, the zipper on his camera bag opened and his second camera felt out. His Sony 5D fell 6 meters directly on my shoulder! Lucky and skillfully, I had the reflex to grab the camera and not take a fall myself in the process. Thankfully I had saved 3’500 euros and my own life! That’s a performance, isn’t it?;-)
The crazy thing with the Petzl Roc Trip is that they take us to places where I have never thought about going in my life. A special part of these long trips is the unusual experiences you have with all of the people around you. We live every day of these trips together and have a lot of fun. Everyone of us can be a little crazy sometimes, but it’s great because you can really learn from each other and you accept more and more that people are different… and that is a good thing.
After four days in Meteora, we all packed up and headed for Athens where we had one day to visit this old city. It felt great to have a day to act like a tourist…;-)
Thank you, Greece for your warmth and friendliness; for your good feta and olives and especially for your incredible history.