Sleeping Under the Stars on the Peak of the Mountain of Ancient Gods



Sleeping with the stars on the mountain of the gods. Credit: Konstantinos Vasilakakos/Facebook

Konstantinos Vasilakakos can be called a photographer of the stars. Not the Hollywood stars, but the celestial elements that fill the night sky and truly fascinate.

Vasilakakos is a great fan of night photography and the starry sky. His work can be found in photography magazines but also on Youtube, where he hosts fantastic videos of his work

The photographer has collaborated with the Thessaloniki Planetarium and has reached the Himalayas to photograph the galaxy from the North side of Mount Everest.

However, what he wanted to do the most for years was to sleep on the top of the mountain of the gods, the peak of Mount Olympus, a place full of gods and legends in Ancient Greece.

Today the peak of the mountain of the gods is called Mytikas. It is the highest mountain peak in Greece, measuring 2,918 meters (9,573 feet). The winter snow stays there for most of the year.

Vasilakakos’ dream was to sleep and dream there and take pictures. Read the story of his experience as he posted it on Facebook:

“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…

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.”