Get Lost in Greece's Monemvasia, Part Two

While you can't go wrong visiting the lower town of Monemvasia and (literally) getting lost within its winding, cobblestoned streets, the crowning moment of a visit to this bygone fortress is ascending a short but steep path to reach the upper city.
Looking up from the lower city, you can just begin to see the upper ruins peeking out
What once was a fortified village sitting atop the plateau of our magical rock is now not much more than ruined walls, but the broken reflection of its past is all too easy to envision.

Entering the upper town through a still-intact tunnel, it's not difficult to imagine a scene of armored soldiers pouring out to defend the upper stronghold, striking fear into any that dared risk an assault.
Above the buildings, you can see the snaking switchback
that takes you  to the upper city
The tunnel that greets you once you finish the switchbacks, marking the entrance to the upper fortress
Continuing the ascent, a rocky trail takes you past the oceanside crown of the fortress, where raw exposure to the elements seems to have taken the greatest toll on the ruins.
The Eastward crown of Monemvasia, where hardly anything remains from a once-bustling town
Moving along, you'll pass through more in-tact ruined houses and public buildings until you reach the relatively untouched is the Byzantine Church of St. Sophia, or the Agia Sofia, built around the 12th century.
It only takes 900 feet to find this little guy
This masterpiece has held strong against weather and time to ensure that if you weren't winded after the hike up, you would have this second chance to find yourself completely breathless.
The first view of the Agia Sofia
Leaving the church behind to climb to higher remnants
The view in front of the church is rather uninspiring, don't you think?
Once you pull yourself away from the arresting views, follow onward and upward to reach more ruins and the vaguely-recognizable citadel.
something's missing...
Oh, and one of the most stunning views that Greece (Europe?) has to offer.
Standing at the westward point in front of what we supposed was one of the lookout points of the citadel
A two-story building near the lookout posts
Clouds or not, we will have our vista picture
Sated on views of beautiful vistas and historical treasures, we headed back to the lower town to pass another quiet night at Hotel Byzantino, soaking in whatever remaining magic we could from the ancient walls of Monemvasia.
Monemvasia from the mainland harbor...look closely and you can see some of the ruins at the top
If we've learned one thing other than the fact that Monemvasia just might be our favorite place in the world, it's that when the time comes for us to splurge again, you can bet that it's going to be during a town's off-season. We saved over $100 dollars because we were here when other tourists weren't. And to show for it, we had this town and all its glorious history all to ourselves.
A small cafe on the upper reaches of the lower town
After two blissful days, John and I left what is now one of our favorite places in the world to head to our next farm in the northwestern Peloponnese.

How we will return to farmlife after four leisurely weeks of petsitting and these two days of splurging to experience a bygone era, I'm not quite sure...
monemvasia, greece
Farewell, Monemvasia!

Stay tuned! And find more breathtaking pictures on the Chowgypsy Facebook page!

5 comments:

  1. :O Beautiful, everything is so beautiful! & good luck on your return to farmlife - it's these contrasts between hard work and leisurely relaxation that make traveling more interesting, in my opinion. & you get to see so much and really embrace different facets of all these cultures, I am very happy for you guys :)

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    1. Thanks lady! You definitely know what it's about. I think I actually miss working!?

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  2. Amazing view back to the mainland. I'll have to visit just for that!

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  3. Oh I feel immersed in this stunning place that your words and photos bring to glorious life. Homer's 'wine dark sea.' I'm glad you've had a chance to rest before throwing yourself into the next agrarian adventure. Can't wait to hear about that too!

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