Shaolin & Taiji Summer Retreat 2019 - Shaolin & Taiji Summer Retreat 2019 in Greece
For another year, the Cultural Center Shaolin Temple Greece 少林寺 少林寺 • επιτυχ σε successfully organized the annual Summer Camp 2019 for the second consecutive year in one of the most popular destinations in the beautiful Zagorochoria.
Zagorochoria are villages in life or in peace, picturesque, with a breathtaking view or hidden in the embrace of nature… It is not one but 46, both the same and at the same time so different. With their common denominator the respect in the traditional architecture, with emphasis on stone and wood and the mild tourist development. Ideal for all seasons, they are offered for unforgettable holidays that start from the stay in a wonderful room of a traditional hostel, a table set with local goodies, until the acquaintance with natural attractions of exceptional beauty!
This year's participants had the opportunity to practice daily in traditional Shaolin and Taichi, Qigong and Neigong as well as Chan Meditation led by the 34th generation monk Shaolin Shi Yan Xiang 释 延 向 法师. Traveling a total of 1700 kilometers, we visited many and various beautiful locations in the area.
And this year our base was in the village of Asprangeli in the stone hostel "Eleftheria" with the kind lady Dina who has us as her children. This year, before we started the climb to our base, arriving in Ioannina, we relaxed by the lake with a coffee.
Arriving at the hostel we were greeted by Mrs. Dina and you tidied up our rooms. Immediately after, without wasting any time, we visited the stone bridges of Kokkori and Mylos in the village of Kipoi, where we practiced, literally in the river, in Qigong Pa Duan Jin.
On the second day we visited the village of Monodendri we went to some places around and above the village to enjoy the gorge of Vikos. Vikos gorge is one of the most famous in Greece. It is located 30 kilometers northwest of Ioannina and is the deepest gorge in the world, according to the Guinness Book. It is the core of the Vikos-Aoos National Park, in the area of which a large variety of rare species of flora and fauna finds refuge. It has a length of about 11 kilometers and in many places its depth exceeds 1,000 meters. It was created after intense geological rearrangements during geological seasons. The first traces of human activity in the area that have been identified, date back to 40,000 BC. The flora found in the gorge area is very diverse. Typically, until the beginning of the 20th century, the herbs of the gorge were used by practical doctors, the so-called "vikiatrists", for therapeutic purposes. It is a popular tourist route. The tour for an experienced team lasts from 4 to 5 hours, offering wonderful images. From the village of Vradeto to Beloi, as well as from Oxia, the view to the gorge is panoramic.
On the third day we hiked in the Vikos Gorge starting from the village of Vikos, covering a distance of about 8 km having made two stops at different points (at its sources and at another point a little further) of the river Voidomatis for swimming.
At the end of our hike and after we climbed again to the village of Vikos we started for Papigo and specifically a little further out in Ovires (swimming pools). But before we arrived in Papigo, there was a stop at the Aristis Bridge for another swim in the icy Voidomatis. Ovires Rogovo, this unique place name with a beautiful name, is a system of lakes in a small ravine, which runs through a stream and is covered by dense vegetation. They are located on the road between Megalo and Mikro Papigo in the prefecture of Ioannina and at an altitude of 980 meters. Returning from the swimming pools, we ended our day, making a stop in Papigo for homemade lemonade, dessert and coffee.
On the fourth day, after our hard morning training, a Chinese therapeutic massage followed, led by Angelis Viki 恒 慈.
After lunch we drove for about an hour and a half and visited the beautiful Metsovo. Metsovo is a mountain town in the prefecture of Ioannina at an altitude of 1,150m. between the mountains of the largest mountain range in Greece, Pindos. We sat down for coffee and dessert at the "Karma" cafe. After our coffee, we drove but 11 km to the artificial lake Aoos. Less than half an hour away from Metsovo, you are in a very charming natural landscape. The view of the lake is wonderful, the landscape is green, the smells of the flowers are intoxicating and the song of the birds is indescribable. We practiced with Nei Gong and Taichi, without missing the bath in the lake.
Friday, June 28, the fifth day of our summer camp, we left behind Zagorochoria and visited Parga where we swam and drank our coffee.
Then we hiked the river Acheron, took a bath and went down rafting. Amazing experience!
Next stop is Loutsa beach. One of the most beautiful beaches in the area. And here there was no lack of swimming and then food in the fish tavern "Orpheus". In the evening we closed this day by taking a walk in the marina of Preveza where we sat for an ice cream. Argoutsika in the evening we returned to the beach of Loutsa where we fell asleep.
On the last day, we got up at six in the morning, ran to Lutsa Beach and practiced in Qigong, Taichi and traditional Shaolin. After our morning exercise we started for the beautiful island of Lefkada. Before entering the city we visited the two ancient castles. The castle of Grivas and the castle of Agia Mavra which is one of the most imposing medieval buildings in Greece and is a model of fortification art of that time (1300 AD). We walked the main pedestrian street of the city, ate our ice cream and left for the beach Kathisma with the beautiful waters. There we ate our lunch at the restaurant Akrogiali and then went down to the beach for our swim. Around three in the afternoon we took the return trip to Athens.
Really six rich days with incredible beauty, peace of mind and physical health. Six days of Changzhou.
We hope all the participants were happy with the program of our camp this year, enjoyed it and gained beautiful, unforgettable memories. We thank them all for their participation. Amitoufo!