Sunday, September 25, 2011

Moni Tsambikas: a very steep hill!

Greek Trip, Day 16, Sunday 3 October 2010, RhodesP1110438

  Continuing the story of our Greek trip from Kalithea Thermi, we finally gathered our group together and sat for a while in part of the shaded garden. Youngest continued her fascination with Greek cats. She took photos throughout Greece. The were a lot of cats to photograph!

We now left the world of Mussolini and the Italian Dodecanese behind, driving south in the mid-morning sun.  Next stop Moni Tsambikas and another part of Greek history and culture.

Just south of Kalithea Thermi, the road passes through Faliraki. This is a big resort area, sort of the Gold Coast of Rhodes. I am not sure why I was surprised to find it, but I was. It all seemed somehow a bit raw. As on Crete, I suspect that part of it was a symptom of the Greek bubble. Curious, I wanted to drive and walk around to have a look, but we were on a schP1010950edule.

  We had been told that we should visit Moni Tsambikas for the views. However, we were also warned that it was a pretty steep climb. That warning was correct!

There is a parking spot half way up, but from there you proceed by steps. We climbed and climbed.

Part of the story about the monastery is that it is a place of pilgrimage for childless women. Apparently on 18 September each year, the monastery's festival day, women climb the steps on their knees and then pray to conceive.


Most of the climb is shaded, but it was still very hot. I began to think longingly of a drink once we reached the monastery. Here I was grievously misled by the word monastery. To my mind, monastery conjures pictures of a substantial building with monks. That's not so here.

Moni Tsambikas is in fact a smallish Greek Orthodox shrine perched right on top of the mountain, with sheer drops on all sides. No drinks there! I was quite surprised, in fact.

As you can see from the following photo, the building is of conventional Greek style with the inevitable add-ons of power line etc.P1010960

We wandered around inside and then clambered around outside. The views were indeed spectacular.P1110490

Fine views are good, but I wish that I knew or could find more of the history on Moni Tsambikas  itself. I know that I am a history nut, but I do like to know just what I am seeing!

We decided to go back to the cafe at the car park half way up the mountain for a drink before moving on. This was an Austrian style place, what else in Greece?, but the beer was nice. There Clare was fascinated by the goats!


Drinks had, goats seen, we drove south through the mid day sun. Next stop Lindos. 

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