Postcard from Osios Loukas Monastery in Greece

by Christoph Hodel / Sep 19, 2013 /

Walking into a Greek Orthodox monastery in Greece throws a curtain of serenity over all who enter. There is simply no need to tell anyone to quiet down, although we are instructed by a monk to stay silent once inside. The building looked like a mere small stone building from the outside. Once in, suddenly everything now seems larger, and is adorned with paintings and tapestry. A golden, semi-circular mosaic (of who I can only assume to be Jesus) greets us at the door. The large dome that makes up the ceiling is painted with depictions of stone-faced angels with golden wings, who stare blankly down at us.

 

Postcard from Osios Loukas Monastery in Greece

 

As we silently explore the building, a monk hands me a small piece of Turkish delight, which is a cube-shaped type of candy with nuts, covered in powdered sugar. Although Clarissa (a college student on our trip) whispers “it just tastes like weird soap,” I find it quite enjoyable. The smell in this ancient place would probably be rather musty, but there were pots of some type of herb every few meters, which made the monastery smell quite pleasant.

 

This particular monastery is called the Osios Loukas, and is perched on the western side of a mountain. It is also over 1,000 years old, as it was built in the early 10th century! Outside the building of worship, I look over the farmland below me, filled with olive groves. A river is barely visible in the distance, snaking along a narrow valley between two mountains. Although the land is sloping and rocky wherever you look, the Greeks manage to place olive trees literally everywhere. The lack of any clouds on almost a daily basis here is very noticeable and wonderful, even if it does mean applying a little extra sunscreen sometimes. Along the trail on the way out, I spot pomegranate trees, olive trees, and even a fig tree! Sometimes I wish that you could find such tasty snacks hanging above you everywhere else in the world.

 

 

 

 

Christoph Hodel is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program

 

Photo courtesy and copyright Christoph Hodel