May 24, 2016
Dosing on and off in the early morning, the sky already lightening, I was waiting to see how long I could lie in bed before I needed to go out and photograph in the soft morning light. Occasionally glancing out the window I was taken off guard when a bright orange sky popped out behind us. Quickly dressing I grabbed my camera bag, kissed Don and bolted out the door.
Thankfully there is a good viewpoint just in front of the hotel. The sky is beautiful, pink in both directions. Sunrise isn’t for another half an hour or so. I watch the colors wash over the square and try to take it all in.
Two days ago I fell for Kardamyli, now I feel like a fickle lover who has found someone even more enticing, Monemvasia, possibly the prettiest medieval town I have ever seen.
The tidy village clings to the side of a massive rock dangling in the Med, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway.
The shops, cafés and restaurants on the main street are housed in buildings that were once medieval shops.
The charming buildings, many of which have been carefully restored, are bathed in warm pinks and tans. The occasional bright white stucco pops against an otherwise subtle palette.
Every turn is dressed in details, with doorways and alcoves elegantly embellished with planters and simple furniture.
There is really next to nothing to do in this picture perfect setting. A visit to the ruins, the former upper town, is one of the big attractions. After breakfast we set out for the long climb up the stairs to the top of the village.
Unfortunately the gate is closed. We found out later that it’s been closed for renovation for about a year and who knows when it will open again. It’s a huge slow project that I’m sure hurts business. In any case they aren’t really advertising the fact that it’s closed. Our hotel made no mention of it and you don’t really know until you see a ratty sign most of the way up. We, of course, didn’t believe the sign at first and climbed the rest of the way only to find the gate firmly locked.
The view from the top is at least worth the climb, but it does leave a rather empty day.
The ruins a bust, we next walked out to the lighthouse, a 19th century structure that has been restored – nice but not much to see.
We then descended down the sharp rocks near the east gate to check out the tide pools. Not much interesting going on in the pools, but you do get a good perspective of the perimeter wall from here. We thought about going for a swim in the sea but the wind had picked up quite a bit in the afternoon, and didn’t calm again until after 6:30.
We walked back to town and snapped a few more photos of the myriad cats who seem to own the village and decided to just give in to the vibe and chill for the rest of the day.
More Photos from Monemvasia: