Friday, 12 June 2009

The Monastery on Corfu

5 May 2009. Ocean Village II sails into Corfu.

We are doing an excursion today. It is taking us to several places in Corfu but we start off with a trip up the coast to a monastery.

This was a Greek Orthodox monastery with a small number of monks, one of whom greeted our guide warmly as we walked up towards the monastery. The monks were called to their various offices or meals, not by the ringing of a bell, but by a pattern of knocking rapped out on this piece of wood, hanging in a small courtyard. Fran was all for giving it a bang but with the thought of half a dozen confused monks appearing and asking all sorts of questions in a foreign language, I thought it was perhaps not the best of ideas! Ah... guid-i-poos is calling us into the monastery church.

The church was quite small, but richly decorated. There were many icons lining the walls many of them gilded. A large silver chandelier hung from the ceiling.

Guid-i-poos is getting boring... We bob out of the church and race through the museum - huh? It did have some whale bones which were worth seeing - more interesting to me than the many more icons.

But they were seen at a fast pace as we literally went in one door, threaded our way through and out the other door where Fran considered another attempt at banging the wooden beam...

The only inhabitants we saw though were a collection of scraggy cats, one curled up with some tiny kittens and a thin alsation dog. Another mystery...

There was an excellent view over the cliffs down to the sea and this ancient monastic cannon used every second Tuesday during the 18th Century when the monks would gather to chortle and chant and blast the barnacles off every passing ship...

We get back on the coach, unspeakably thrilled when guid-i-poos promises us another church to look at.

Large versions of the photographs: Ocean Village II, wooden beam, church interior, viewpoint, cannon

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