Today was K&S’ last full day before flying out to Athens tomorrow.
First up today was a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Kythera in Hora. J & C had wanted to visit here previously but for some reason never had. It is an old museum, originally with displays in wooden and glass cabinets - very old school. Then a bad earthquake damaged it badly. After many years ,money from the Kytherians in Australia kick started its revitalisation, and then money from the EU enabled a full restoration to contemporary standards.
It’s a great little museum that charts the history of the island from the 9th millennium B.C. and ending in the 3rd century A.D. The aim of the exhibition is to present Kythera's cultural heritage and history within its wider historical context in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean.
There are many great items on display from prehistoric, Minoan, Hellenistic, Renaissance, 19th C, etc. Perhaps the most impressive is the white marble Lion of Kythera that had an interesting journey before returning to the museum. During WW2 the lion along with many other treasures were taken by the occupying Germans back to Germany. Many years later it was rediscovered and finally made its way to Kythera to the museum. After the earthquake it was back to the Kastro for many years before its return to the renovated museum. He seems happy there!
We then drove to Livadi and then to Pourko and up the mountain to the Agia Elessa Monastery. Slightly hair raising drive up the mountain but with no oncoming cars, all was well. We reached the top and there was no sight of life, and the gates were shut. But, not locked!
So we entered and walked around- the church was locked, but the views from the western side were spectacular as the viewing platform is right on the edge of rocky cliffs, 433m above sea level. The story is very complex, but suffice to say that Elessa escaped here and was tortured and killed by her father for her beliefs in 375AD, and thereafter was revered as a saint.
The people of Kythira worship Saint Elesa, who is considered to be the protector of the island and is believed to have tamed the island’s snakes, which are not poisonous anymore.
We then had a stop for a coffee and cake in Livadi, before returning to our hotel for a siesta.
At 5 we had wine and cake, then headed to Hora to see Andreas who gave us figs. K&S farewelled Andreas as they fly out tomorrow.
We drove to Livadi and were a bit early so visited the market in the main street - olive oil, fruit and vegetables, jams and preserves, cakes , honey, and more. J purchased a melon! Unfortunately we are not here long enough to warrant purchasing this enticing produce.
Then it was over to Katouni to visit K2 and V to see their house, and K2s old family home. The access lane only wide enough for a fully laden donkey, and a special detail built in the the wall to enable the donkeys to be tied up. The bottom rooms used to be the “barn” and the ceiling height is low as donkeys are not very tall!
We all went to Pierros restaurant in Livadi. We had a wonderful meal, having visited the kitchen to view the offerings and see the cooks at work. We told K2 to order stuff for us as it all looked great. The owner Manoli sort of recognised us, and thereafter J was Mr Stathis again. Very traditional and enjoyable. Then a short drive back to Kapsali for an early night
On one photo opp, J mentioned in passing that there was a patch of Pigface. He managed to dodge a slightly mistimed swipe from someone who mistook his words!