Chris and Alison
Sat 27 May 2023 10:07
23/05/23 Happy birthday Chris
We anchored outside the harbour of Monemvasia. They are extending the harbour for visiting yachts so it was a bit noisy with the diggers, but they generally stopped by 1500 each day to leave a peaceful harbour and anchorage. The first night we arrived we had strong gusts into the bay and we were woken at 0300, 0530 and then every 20mins after that with the drift alarm. Eventually we gave in and re-anchored, not a good start for Chris’s birthday. In addition to that, when I was making the birthday cake, we ran out of gas, I didn’t notice, so the cake was a bit heavy:(
Monemvasia is Byzantine settlement that has never been abandoned, people still live in the upper and lower towns today. The main attraction for Monemvasia is that it has not been developed over the years and what remains are original buildings from the various occupations since Byzantine times. The name Monemvasia means single entrance. It is basically a rock attached to the mainland by a very narrow causeway that leads to a main gate that is the entrance to a walled, fortified town. The very narrow streets that make up Monevmvasia mean that cars and motorcycles can’t get passed the entrance, so once through the main gate nothing bigger than a donkey can get in. Fortunately the locals and others who bought property realised that they must preserve the nature of the place. Monemvasia is essentially a very beautiful town and lends itself to being almost a retreat type of place with the narrow cobbled streets red tiled roof houses and balconies above you as you stroll through. The steep walk up to the top of the rock brings you to a sympathetic restoration of Agia Sofia church and the other 40 or so churches on the rock. There are also the impressive fortifications that have made this place so difficult to penetrate by invaders over the years, apparently in 1248 William de Villehardouin laid siege to Monemvasia and it is a testament to its unassailable position that this lasted for three years. The population only surrendered when they had absolutely no food left, they had already gone through the cats, dogs and rodents.
We wanted to move on to Elafonisos on the 25th but there was no wind forecast and although the pilot book advised to treat cape Maleas with respect, as it can be very tricky and windy, we would rather sail the 30miles than motor so we decided to wait until Friday.
Chris having a birthday ice cream
Agia Sofia church
Sent from my iPad