Heathen among the Holy

These monasteries are a relic of the Byzantine empire , born out of the fall of the Roman Empire
It seems to me life hasn’t changed much
The monks spend an awful lot of time praying. All through the night.
They are called to prayer by one of their number walking around the central church clapping two planks together and ringing a bell. Loudly.
This seemed to happen every few hours through the night
We ate together while one monk read from the Bible in a frankly soporific monotone
No meat. But at least they had wine for breakfast.
Most visitors refused the wine leaving an awful lot still on the table. I thought it rude to leave so much ….

I’d already sampled the monastery wine the night before – a harsh but potent little red made from the grapes they grow themselves
After my tribulations the day before I frankly cheated. After two hours trekking down a dusty road I flagged down a truck being driven by two Romanian monks.
They took me to the biggest and oldest monastery Megistis Lavra.

Well I say I cheated. Hardly anyone walks here. Most grab minivan taxis.
The only person I’ve seen walking was a Georgian guy who spoke no English
We passed the tine by amusingly referencing the fact that we both have the same patron Saint
How the time flew …


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