It seems like yesterday that I was 30,000 feet above ground and travelling faster than the speed of the fastest vehicle on the planet’s surface. After having a little nap straight after take off (I can do that, fear of flying has long left my mind), I woke to a superb display of sunset light. There was a huge amount of white cloud below us and, as the sun had dived just below it, the horizon's edge was bathed in the usual yellow and orange glow. What an amazing way to start a week away from home.
One more time I am heading to the country where I was born, Greece. Having already been to Santorini, Mykonos and Milos islands this past year, the last places I wanted to visit before 2013 ended were Zagoria and Meteora. Some of you might have heard of the latter, an area with huge rock pillars in excess of 100 meters high that hosts Greek Orthodox monasteries. A few years ago they were even featured in films, as was the trend back then.
These days you can get a direct flight from Edinburgh to Athens, which is a superb excuse for people like myself – a Greek residing in Scotland – to fly back home on a regular basis. Talking of home, Scotland is my home now really, as I have been living there since 1997. It can be considered a privilege to have two homelands I suppose, one cold and wet, the other warm and dry – I am spoilt for choice I think. However, they both have their pros and cons.
As the flight arrived in Athens at 8pm local time, we arranged to have supper with my family, stay there overnight and start our over six-hour drive in the morning. I need to mention that my good friend Mike Bell was with me for the week. Mike is a very keen photographer and, just like myself, has been looking forward to this trip north of Greece. Come to think of it, although photography is my job (and my life), my good friend Mike is a keener photographer than I am.
Having been disappointed once or twice in the past by having high expectations when visiting a location, these days I approach things from a different perspective. I do my usual research on the location and, if I believe it has some potential, I visit it with a very open mind. Even if the location is not as gorgeous as other people say it is and does not have great photographic potential, I still do my best to bring out the best it can offer in my pictures. This way there are no disappointments. However, my daughter, who is also interested in photography, visited Meteora last May and said the place was stunning. So, if she thinks the location is beautiful, I believe it will be.