Our time in KBL
Two years ago, we left the summer course in the EC with the wish to visit KBL soon. Conditions came together this February and so we were able to spend a wonderful two weeks in Greece.
From the very beginning, all things went smoothly and for those who’d think these times are not particularly for travel we can confirm: there have been no difficulties in leaving our country or in entering Greece and moving around. We were aware of the regulations of course but those were no obstacles in any way.
For the ones who haven’t been to KBL yet: getting to the top of the mountain may look complicated but in fact, you simply take the train from the airport of Athens to Xylokastro, the nearest small village at the foot of the mountain and if you’re lucky there will be a friend waiting on you with a big smile and a truck to take you uphill. In case there is some delay you get a nice opportunity to check out the orange and lemon trees next to the station already thinking: what a life! 🙂
The way up the mountain is long enough to begin to leave your everyday thoughts and worries behind you and to start getting into the peace mode of the place. Being already dark we first met the stupas under the beautiful night sky – with no light pollution around you feel like you’re under a big cosy blanket with many many sparkling diamonds. If you look carefully you can even spot a crown-shaped formation. 😉
Days in KBL are like magic: getting up with the first rays of the sun coming forward from behind the mountains and just enjoying the view of the beauty of which words are too little to express honestly… Making your first rounds around the stupa on your way to the big gompa for your morning prostrations and feeling ever blessed to be here… Having homemade yoghurt and marmalade on the table accompanied by fresh oranges from the old couple nearby with the view to the valley – the pics speak for themselves I believe…
Starting the fire is not too hard, keeping it alive tho needs your attention from time to time.
The kitchen is well equipped to make many delicious dishes, also goulash on request for your new friends of course.
You experience total freedom between the huge mountains and rocks and just feel the vastness of space around you. Meditating in your room, in one of the gompa’s, at the stupa or anywhere you wish to you can do here. No schedules and meetings or sirens to hear – you are your boss and spend your time as you like. Sometimes you notice yourself just breathing and being present fulfilled by gratitude for being alive.
Friends make the picture even more whole: having shared meals and meditations together is another highlight of the days. Listening to stories from the ‘black man’ on the hills and getting to know how the place became the amazing refuge it is today, laughing together while being entertained by the two friendly dogs Dorje and Pema or simply sitting next to each other silently and sharing the moment make your stay always to remember.
The conditions on the mountain are ever-changing due to the high altitude: you can experience all four seasons even in a few days, picking rosehips on the mountainside for your daily tea one day and shovelling the knee-length snow on the next – with the wildest smile on your face still as everything is just extraordinary with the white shiny cover on it. Other times a sudden wind comes from one side and taking your belongings with – make sure you always heavily Anker whatever you leave outside. 😉 The sun is quite strong so pack your sun cream or use natural coconut oil instead.
We could keep on talking and telling you about the caves up in the surrounding mountains where you even have a blanket to sit on while meditating or about the beautiful collaboration we witnessed with the locals to make the road free for us – there isn’t snow big enough that can be a barrier when descending the mountain if you have caring and supportive friends who have good contacts with the neighbouring village.
Being on top of the mountain allows you to look at things from a different perspective, both inside and out. The sound of the immense silence – yeah right – calms your agitated mind and the unlimited space makes you inevitably realize how small you are with all your big felt problems and doubts and uncertainties.
We are very grateful for this precious time! ❤️
Big thank you to Majki, for his ever-inspiring stories and pictures, and to the lovely men with who we shared these days: Yorgos, Klaus and Michael. Hope to meet you soon again!
Love and warm hugs
Detti and Anna
P.S. You must try the local mountain tea – it is very healthy and tasty, especially with mountain honey. 😉