Day 1 - arrivals day - Livadia
We met up as a group at the Sofitel near the Athens airport this morning and were transported to Livadia. We assembled the bikes and checked into our rooms by 2:00 p.m. We had help from Paul with assembly for which we were all most grateful!!
Steven suggested a walk to the Kryas springs. Several of us walked out through town along the river and found the springs. Just adjacent to the mouth of the springs was a 13th century castle dating to the Catalan occupation of this area. The tower was built on an ancient acropolis. It seems only I decided to continue on into the canyon as the geology was stunning and near the end noticed a stairwell heading up. I followed the stairs and rough path up well nearly 3 km, encountering 2 shrines along the way. At the first shrine there was a sign for the spring and another that translated to “Jerusalem”. I was intrigued and continued upward for another 1/2 mile or so until the stairs ended at the second shrine nestled into the cliff face. I didn’t reach Jerusalem but as best I can tell the shrine is dedicated to Saint Euthymius, who was one of the fathers of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. He came from Armenia where he was born in 377, and died in Jerusalem as the Abbot in 473.
Though we have a short ride tomorrow I am hoping that the 16,000 steps (and nearly 6.5 miles) didn’t tire me out too much as we have over 3000’ of climbing and my legs are complaining. I saw the stairway and just couldn’t help myself…..