Well the rain has stopped finally.......we hope!
Our last day with the car should be a little better than yesterday's complete disaster.
Lorraine has planned the stops, Paul is navigating and Kevin is driving, I chill, no use interfering with a well laid out schedule. First stop was a prehistoric city named Therma an early form of urbanisation due to the islands rich vegitation and copious rain (so we found out)
The site was initially excavated by an English archeologist in 1929 but re covered with earth for protection. In 2005, the site was re examined and further excavation took place. The city's construction came in phases as most cities do, but each phase demonstrated an educated plan for defenses and an organised structure to the streets, quite sophisticated planning in such an early era. The city was finally destroyed by fire in 1300 B.C. Not only has this excavation shown a well thought out development throughout the phases of construction, it has established the work of potter's, metal crafting and woodworking. A pretty advance city for its age and situated in a beautiful setting by the sea on the eastern coast of Lesvos. A short video explained all of this, in addition, the importance of this city and it's strategic position between Asia and Europe on the edge of the Turkish coastline near where Troy would have been situated.
The remains of these strong, well built walls are now mainly overgrown with the most picturesque yellow wild flowers. Plaques enlighten us to each home and workshop, kiln and place of worship. You may think that time should be taken to tidy and weed this extraordinary place, yet the pretty spring flowers are stunning and provide a beautiful background to this ancient historical site.
We investigate another monastery, this one named Taxiarchis, founded by St Ignatius in 16th century. It is one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in Lesvos. Outside this impressive stone building with flowers adorning each pathway and doorway, is a jet plane. This unusual item is something to do with St Michael being the patron saint of Taxiarchis.......I cannot actually find the relationship between the two written anywhere that makes sense! Either way the fantastic monastery is worth the visit, it's church has the most fabulous interior even if you are not religious, it is worth a visit. As for the plane, well that is rather impressive too if not a little bizarre!
Lunchtime called for a slightly different location, this time a waterfall called Mankatsa. Leaving the monastery we head towards the countryside once again, the signs indicate that a short walk from the roadway we will come across Lacos Mankatsa. We abandon the car on a narrow road, well not really a road, more of a dirt track, we seem to go off road rather a lot. Not quite sure who is the irresponsible one, the driver, the navigator or the route planner, but we seem to end up in a little wilderness and no where near a normal piece of tarmac! To be honest, this is what we enjoy most, the best places are usually off the beaten track and we have certainly seen a lot. 😁
A small stone bridge stretches across a gentle flowing stream. Trees and shrubs surround us as we follow the track on foot towards what we hope will be the waterfall. The spring flowers are really pretty mingled into the undergrowth, butterflies are everywhere I have never seen so many in the sky, presumably a hatching recently.
Puddles from our recent rainfall see us tiptoe carefully along the stoney path, a terrapin stood, head facing the sun on a grey rock alongside a large puddle. He takes no notice of our cameras, barely even raising a smile as he soaks up the warmth from above.
As we wind our way through the increasingly tree lined track we notice the water gushing forcefully that initial steady trickle has increased in momentum. The sound is growing yet we cannot yet see the waterfall, it takes a few places more for us to reach its source. From between bent tree trunks and leafy shrubs we see the gushing flow of this rather impressive waterfall, we wobble on rocks and perch on tree roots to each see a better glimpse of this lovely sight. It was worth the walk to see the great scenery and nature at its best, now can we have lunch?
We brought a picnic courtesy of lidl supermarket to enjoy in the bright sunshine and fresh air, having spent so much time avoiding the rain and hiding from winds, we needed this outdoor experience.
Post lunch the Ruins of Messa await our archeological minds, unfortunately no one told them we were visiting therefore the great big metal gates were firmly padlocked. Cockerels and turkeys watched from an enclosure nearby as we balanced on walls and peered through fences to see a little bit of ancient Messa, the fowl clucked loudly as our attempts to get a better view became pointless, we were locked out for the day!
The day was coming to a close and our car had to be returned to its rightful owner, we left the cockerel and Turkey to squalk to each other.
The day had been another success, and our plan for the evening was a meal at one of the local taverna in Skala Loutra before bed.
Tomorrow a walk to the church high above the little harbour in Skala Loutra.