Monday, 4 April 2011

Piso Monastery of Preveli

Today we all suddenly decided we'd like to go and see a nearby Monastery. As the title sugests, it was called the Piso Monastery of Preveli. It was high in a mountain and the winds were strong and gusty. Other than the wind, however, it was a beautiful sunny day. We all got in the car and got some bread to eat on the way. The road was narrow and windy up the side of the mountain, and there was the mountain on one side with a steep drop down the other. When we arrived and parked there, we were greeted by a beautiful young cat.

Awww, he's so cute!
I was busy patting this cat when I felt something nudge me from behind...

Ooh, another cat!
Well, this place seems to be full of cats! This cat is just so adorable. I suppose I think every cat is cute though :) I love all cats and dogs. I had a fuss over this cat, then looked around for the other cat that I saw before. He was having quite a good time!

Someone's having fun!
This cat is crazy! But wait, here's another cat!

Can't ever be too clean.
I loved this cat too. But anyway, back to the Monastery.
After fussing about the cats we went into the Monastery. We couldn't take any pictures inside, so I took a quick shot of the front.

The front of the Monastery.
Inside, there were stone slabs with writing explaining when the Germans invaded Crete. When they were invaded, Cretes' allies were driven up into the hills by the Germans and were trapped. They started starving until the Cretan people helped them escape and take them to a safe spot, which was this Monastery. There they were given clothes, food and shelter until a submarine could take them away home.
After we had read those, we wandered around a bit until we saw the museam. We went inside and I was amazed by all the ancient objects. There were some interesting embroided squares that were labled as 'knee-pads.' I think they were used to kneel on in church when they had some stuffing in them or something. They also had all the elements for a church session, like silver censers and stoups (basins for holy water).
There were also some quite odd pictures of people getting their head cut off and heads being on plates. There were some hand written books that people would have written their prayers in before each church session. After a bit of looking around the museum, I bought a Visitor's Guide book and a red bracelet. We also got a freebee postcard. Then a nice monk took us to the church there and showed us around. There were beautiful pictures of Adam and Eve with lots of imaginary and real animals. Then there were pictures of some people with gold frames. But the main feature there was the most interesting, 'The Miraculous Holy Cross'. It had been stolen several times by the Germans, but had always managed to get back. One time, it was stolen and was tried to be sold, yet no one would buy it for they knew it was sacred. Another time they had put the cross on a plane to Athens so they could try and sell it there. However, the plane wouldn't take off with engine failures, so police came on and took it off. Immediatly after taking off the cross, the plane was working fine and took off without any further problems.
After seeing the church we were left to wander again, so we went and looked at the farm animals that were there. There was a beautiful male goat with big horns, and some yellow goslings and their parents. There were also a couple of deer there and a peacock or two. There were a few love birds in an aviary a bit further away, too. After all that we went back to the car and took a few sneek zoom in photos of the goat.
The handsome goat we saw.
Next, we went to a war memorial just along the road. I took a few pictures of the family with the statues and in front of the ocean. I also took a few pictures of just the statues.

The war memorial statues.
Then I got a close up of each of the faces of the statues.

The monk up close.
That picture was of the monk on the left.

And the soldier up close.
That was the soldier on the right.

To end our day, we went to Palm Beach for a stroll and a dip. The path down to it was about 1k, but it was definately worth it.

The path down to the beautifully clear sea.
It was quite easy going on the way down. I enjoyed it alot. After a little stroll along the beach skipping stones across the flat water, we went for a walk along the Preveli Lake. Preveli Lake is a very shallow river that is moderately wide and quite still until the rapids. My camera ran out of charge on the way down, so I have a picture of the river from the path.

The Preveli Lake from up on the path.
 This was a very exciting day today, probably one of the most exciting. I loved everything about it. To me, this is really what holidays are about!