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    • Day19

      Churches and Small Villages

      June 7, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      The bed is very comfortable here, which means a good nights sleep. You do hear the church bells loud and clear though. This is background noise for me since I have a clock at home that chimes quarterly. Time for some mundane maintenance: laundry. I throw in a load and make my coffee. I sit out on the patio and take in the gatas. There are several around here but I am not feeding them so they keep their distance. I have some breakfast (yogurt, plums and some bread with jam). While I’m waiting, I check out information on the local sights.

      Since I hear the church bells that is the first place I go. I can actually walk there from where I’m staying so the car stays put. Off I go with my trusty Google Maps and play eat the dots. I head down a couple of ‘streets’ that I’m not sure could even be alleyways back home. They are very steep and narrow. Oh wait, that’s the ‘roads’ I need to take to get out of my place. Spiffy, I’ll save that for later. The church comes into view (up hill of course!) and it has to be one of the biggest I have seen in Greece so far. Greece’s main religion is Orthodox and this church is very large for an Orthodox church. The Church of Panagia Megalochari as it is called sits high above the main city in Tinos. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary who is the patron saint of Tinos and the protector of all Greece. The church came to be built in 1830 because of a reoccurring dream a nun at a local monastery had. I couldn’t go inside because there was a service being held and I didn’t want to disturb them. So the inside pictures are stock ones from the net. The reason for the red carpet is that on August 15 a feast takes place where pilgrims approach the church on their hands and knees to give thanks to the Virgin Mary. The views over the city are magnificent so check it out.

      Next up is a town called Falatados. It is up in the hillsides of Tinos. The village dates back to the 14th century and where mixed farming is done. As you drive up, up, up the steep and winding roads the scenery just gets more and more beautiful. The hillsides are a barren brownish colour unless planted. They seem to be terraced to create platforms for crops. I’m assuming some are grapes but can’t tell the others. As you go the views of Tinos town and the sea are beautiful. It is about a 20-minute drive and when I get there I park on the outskirts of the village.
      I just start walking the tiny little streets and am amazed at how clean and pretty the village is. I pass by a war memorial and am reminded that war affects everyone around the world. A silent reminder of mans inhumanity. Some people have decorated their little areas with colourful flowers or cacti but every place is clean. I don’t see much commerce (unless I didn’t wander in the right spots!) so I’m not sure where they get their food and stuff from. I do come across a church and this one does not have a service so I can go inside. This church is the Ag. Ioannis Church and it is Orthodox as well. I am the only person in here and it is very quiet and peaceful. The ceilings are a blue-gray in colour and I do get some pictures. It is very ornate and is probably quite pretty when all the candles are lit.

      I see a few people but not many as I walk the rest of the way. When I’ve seen everything I wish to, I head back to the car. There is a restaurant near where I parked, so lunch/dinner time it is. This is a nice-looking place with a view over the valley and fields. I take a seat and a lady comes over with a menu. I quickly figure out that she doesn’t speak English. I look at the menu and it has English on it so I point and order that way. I pull out my Google Translator to ask for a glass of wine and this works quite well. I get a cucumber and tomato salad. It comes with sliced red onions, capers and an oil and vinegar dressing served with a basket of bread. Delicious! Next up is the pork souvlaki with fries. Also, a good choice. They don’t rush you here and it is nice to just sit for a bit. I get a video call from Laura back home and I get to show her where I am. I finish up dinner with a coffee and what I think are figs done in a honey sauce. I did get some food shots this time. I actually end up taking half the salad home for a snack later. I ask the lady (through the translator) if they have bottles of wine to sell. The wine was so good, I thought I would take some back with me to enjoy. She is quite happy to oblige. The entire meal, with the wine to go, was only 25 Euros. A deal compared to the much higher prices in Santorini.

      If you check the pictures really carefully, you’ll find a cloud in the sky. I had to make sure I got that one since it is a rarity here. I head back home for the night (and a glass of wine or two) and will head back out tomorrow.
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    Vólax, Volax

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