Thursday, August 6, 2009
Our Big Greek Advenure
From a glance this looks much like a large outcropping of rock formations, but at one point, these rocks sheltered over 25 Monasteries....with Monks also living in caves, tucked into the rock. These can all be seen today, but there are only a handful of Monasteries today and one Convent. We hopped in our bus in the morning... and drove the windy and yes, very narrow roads up to two of these..... A Monastery and a Convent.
As we drive into the Mountain, we could begin to see the Monastery, tucked into the cliffs of the rock. There are continuing restorations going which is no small feat. Monks, in days gone by, would hike up these steep slopes and then be lifted up to the Monastery in a rope basket...... Not my option for getting home at night. Also, supplies were lifted via baskets. What an adventure.
If you look closely, this Monastery can only be accessed by a tram. It is not open to the Public (no big surprise there), but this is definitely an improvement over climbing up the rocks, hand over hand, or coming up in an open weave rope basket.
This Monastery was abandoned, so eventually, the Nuns arrived and created a Convent. Their Gardens were just amazing and quite a bit different than the Monastery. They had bee hives (selling the honey and beeswax candles), herb gardens, and a beautiful vegetable garden, across the road, which were tended with love. If you can double click on this photo, you can see the garden in detail. The Nuns have created a restful, beautiful, yet quite practical space, maximising every square inch of their high altitude home.