Hosios Loukas Monastery, Greece Week 114 June 4th 2013
From the isthmus we headed roughly north west, then west.

There are some subtleties to driving in Greece which initially escaped us.

We are now completely unsure as to what dotted and continuous lines really mean.

We continue to be surprised at the variation in geography.

Another "up and over" and we are driving through pine trees and bee hives.

But no honey sellers.

Then olive groves.

Mt Helicon is on our right.

The monastery, Hosios Loukas, faces us on that small hill to the left.

Byzantine monastery.

First buildings from the 10th century AD.

Hosios Loukas settled in the region in 946 AD and established the monastic community.

He managed a few miracles and the monastery became a pilgrimage site.

The building on the right is the refectory and olive press.

Converted to museum.

Behind that is one of the two joined together churches.

The entrance to the newer Church of Hosios Loukas.

Inauguration around 1011 or 1022.

There was another building spree in the 16th century.

Refectory on the right.
The Crypt.

Under the Church of Hosias Loukas.

"Octagon" construction.

We last saw arches like this in the Portuguese cistern in Essouria.

But this is older, and the frescoes are 11th century.  
The two churches.

Church of Panayia (961 AD) on the right and Curch of Hosios Loukas on the left.

Church of Panayia.

Architecturally the floor plan is a cross, within a square of walls.

One of those frustrating "come back later we're filming" events where the answer to "how much later" is "about 5 minutes".

So we visited the museum.

But eventually we had a look inside Church of Hosios Loukas.

Architecturally its apparently a complex octagon with a single space under the central dome.

Between the marble bits the wall and ceiling art is mosaics.
We had a bit of trouble contemplating that they really were mosaics and not frescoes.

Had to zoom in with the camera to make sure we weren't dreaming.

Its World Heritage listed and we expected hordes of people.

But we were almost alone.

If only we knew what the images were really about.
Then we checked for tiles again.
And so towards Eratini.

Along the coast.

We think an Aluminium Smelter - belonging to Aluminium of Greece (helped by Pechiney). They seem to be in the oddest of places.

Alumina Refinery processes 1.4 million tonnes of local bauxite to 800,000 tonnes of Alumina. 165,000 tonnes of Aluminium per year.

And the port for a bit of processing and  shipping of  bauxite from the mine a little inland.

Underground apparently.

We assume what's not processed locally is shipped to Sardinia for processing.

At Eratini we visited Vasso.

Ali had not seen her since 1975.

We filled up with water.

Learned that while there's no flowing rivers the water table is only 300mm below the surface at this time of year.

We were nearly tempted to have a swim.

However, the northerly wind pushes the warm surface water south towards the Peloponese Penninsular.

And so we set off towards Delphi.

The valley floor is wall to wall olives.

The olive oil producing olives, not the eating ones.

We think 1kg of olive oil from about 4-7 kg of olives and 50-60 kg of olives per tree.

Delphi, Greece Week 114 June 5th 2013

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