We are greeted with loud ring of the bell upon arrival in this lonely place. The rhythm of bell ring is somewhat hazy and erratic. We are not sure if it is a greeting or a warning. Are we guests or are we unwelcome breachers?
The hermit told us some of the principles that should be observed in life, for instance, the women should wear black blouse, cover her head, wear long skirt and wear no earrings. The other - God sends you angels to you to look over you and to direct you on the right path. The rules of the visit include not disturbing him and no taking photos. You are, however, invited to read some excerpts from the bible, you can cut grapes and take with you and you can lit the candle.
This monastery is built near the gorge of Arvi, in an elevated area with panoramic sea views. Today it is abandoned and only remnants of monks’cells reveal its past. The monastery is believed that was initially built on the ruins of the ancient Temple of Arvian Zeus in the Valley shaped at the exit of Arvi gorge. However, it was later moved to its current elevated position because of the marshes shaped in the valley. In the monastery there are two churches, one very old and one quite new, dedicated to Saint Anthony.
Having traveled for over 30 years, since 6 years now, I have found the whole world in one of the most fascinating and unique places on earth – Crete. It is a diverse, rich and inspiring island which even after so many years does not stop surprising me - its rich history and unique traditions, its people, the delicacies of Cretan cuisine, its landspace and its stunning nature. Here I reveal some of its secrets.
I see Crete through turquoise - pink glasses.