Hidden Delights in Akrotiri

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May 4th 2012
Published: May 19th 2012
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From the Cave of the BearFrom the Cave of the BearFrom the Cave of the Bear

This cave houses a small church, in the centre of which, is a large rock resembling a bear. Many objects dating to 500BC have been found in the cave.
Guess what? Another hot and clear day!

After breakfast, another Mercedes took me up to Akrotiri, north east of Chania, leaving me within a plate's throw of the Gouverneto Monastery.

Hat on and water bottles full, I headed towards the monastery and stopped by the modern war memorial, erected to memory of the local villagers for their sacrifice in the 1940s. Then, walking down on the newly restored cobble path, I made my way to the Cave of the Bear which had been cleverly converted into a little church, complete with natural cistern which filled with drips from stalactites.

Leaving the coolness of the cave, I continued down eventually experiencing something similar to the first view I had of Petra's Treasury, when, rounding a corner, I had the amazing view of a hidden, deserted monastery. Descending to the derelict Katholiko Monastery, I visited the small cave of St. John the Hermit - who was accidentally killed by a hunter. Apparently, his diet was so bad that he stooped as he walked and was mistaken for a deer.

Climbing down to the floor of the gorge, I made my way up, climbing over rocks and ducking under trees
Petra? No KatholikoPetra? No KatholikoPetra? No Katholiko

The early morning sun grazes the rose stone
before coming out at an open plateau at Cape Tripiti. There, after resting in the shade and taking lots of water, I found a goat path and began to climb through a shallow valley before ascending steeply through scrubby vegetation to the top of the saddle between two hills.

The view from the top was incredible as, there in front of me, was a derelict village visible on the right side of the valley in the distance. Heading down, I reached the only tree in the area - a single large umbrella-shaped tree - where I stopped for water, eventually arriving in the deserted village some time after.

Pausing only to examine the old well, I began to walk down another gorge, leading me past an apiary and finally into the delightful village of Stavros - site of the filming of Zorba the Greek.

From Zorba the Greek to Greek Sorbet, all in all, a good day.

Additional photos below
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The only flat part of this complex. My own view is that this was constructed solely for the inhabitants to have somewhere flat to meet and walk.
View of KatholikoView of Katholiko
View of Katholiko

The deserted monastery of St. John the Hermit, built around 500-600AD, but abandoned, allegedly due to pirate activity about 1000 years later.
Gorge walkingGorge walking
Gorge walking

Leaving the deserted monastery and heading up the dry riverbed towards Cape Tripiti

White sands meet blue sea and sky

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