Saturday, March 01, 2014

Monemvasia, just in time?

Monemvasia  is close to the southeastern corner of Pelopennese, a fortified islet from Byzantium.  I am a sucker for scenic old towns.  Monemvasia is just about as picturesque as they come, medieval too.  It is a harder sell for John.  He detected a lot of the buildings are really new constructions, on old foundations.  So, why don't they just pick some scenic spot and build a new medieval town from scratch, saves a lot of work, no excavation necessary?!

We arrived on Friday afternoon before the three-day weekend celebrating the start of Lent.  Weather was bad.  At one point it showered so heavy, we were almost caught in a flash flood.  The sun never came out for us.  This being the southern most point for this journey, it was not cold, though wet.  Maybe the ominous weather even added to the mystique of the place.  Saturday morning we headed to explore the Upper Town.  By the time we came back down, all kinds of visitors were permeating into the Lower Town.  What if one day cruise ships start to come?!

Monemvasia looks to be readying itself for prime time.  There are a lot of excavations, restorations, with construction all over.  We stayed at the Kellia in a cell in the converted monastery next to a restored church.  Judging by the way things are going, we probably won't be able to afford to stay in the fort again -- one more reason we are busy wandering.

The Rock that is Monemvasia. The Lower Town is back to the right and cannot be een from this angle. Part of the Upper Town fortifications can be seen at the top of the Rock.
Monemvasia, Greece

We stayed in the lower middle building, to the left of the white church.
Monemvasia, Greece

Admiring the view from the Lower Castle wall.
Monemvasia, Greece

Narrow street!
Monemvasia, Greece

How about that chimney?
Monemvasia, Greece

More Lower Town.
Monemvasia, Greece

At one time there were 40 churches in the Lower Town.
Monemvasia, Greece

Decorating the town for Greek Carnival celebrations ahead of Clean Monday, the start of Lent.
Monemvasia, Greece

Monemvasia, Greece

Slogging along in the wind and rain in the Upper Town.
Monemvasia, Greece

Throw in a photo of myself.
Monemvasia, Greece

A church in ruins in the Upper Town.
Monemvasia, Greece

Heading up to the very top of the Upper Town.
Monemvasia, Greece

Hagia Sophia in the Upper Town.
Monemvasia, Greece

A couple of views of the Lower Town from the Upper Town.
Monemvasia, Greece

Monemvasia, Greece




2 comments:

Kathy said...

Wow, sorry about the weather. But glad you decided to stay on the island after all. It was pretty crowded when I was there in 2006, but cruise ships would be a great pity.

The trouble with building all-new "medieval" areas is that they look fake because all the buildings look not just new, but the same age. Warsaw's reconstructed "old town" has that exact problem. No genuine old area has buildings all the same age.

Sun-Ling said...

I figure bad weather is a due we pay for traveling off season. Come to think of it, I prefer rain to 100-degree blazing sun. John, on the other hand, loves to sweat.