Monastery of ArkadiApril 13 in Greece
Leaving Preveli and the canyon, we headed through a windy mountain-ridge route to Arkadi Monastery. This includes detours when we simply were not willing to drive down roads that has been advised by Google, and painfully slow driving over barely gravelled and hugely pot-holed road sections. This aside, photos do not do justice to the landscape. It was vaguely reminiscent of Hardknot Pass in the Lake District but with more rolling views and less road visibility.
We stopped at Arkadi Monastery, despite initial discussion in whether to, and were very pleased we did. The monastery is largely famed for their resistance to Ottoman rule, culminating in a battle in 1866 in which locals, holes up in the gunpowder magazine and facing a fearsome enemy, chose death over surrender. They blew up the magazine, killing themselves but taking many of the attacking Turks with them.
The monastery was also famed for its work with gold vestments. During the 1866 attack, they hid the work in the walls and cellars and so the monastery retains some beautiful examples of this work today.
The site itself felt a little more 'Mexican-stand-off' than Greek, and references to the Alamo and Red Dead Redemption certainly were fitting. Quite a fascinating stop however.
From here, the winding Greek roads took us back to the highway, and we aimed just past our hotel to the Palace of Malia. Sadly, our opening time information was incorrect and it was shut, so we headed to the hotel for an early dinner and drinks. All told, we probably spent about 6 hours driving today, but the scenery, sites and experiences were fabulous. Dinner and a bottle of Freixnet and a well-deserved early night! Plus, the prospect of a lie-in tomorrow!Read more