Monday, July 7, 2008

On The Edge

Sumela Monastery was our destination this morning. Established high on a cliff face and accessible only by a narrow path, this Christian outpost lasted from the 4th century through the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Most of the buildings were added in the 13th century and surround the original cave which is covered in frescoes.

The drive up the mountain on a very narrow winding road was frightening for us, but the utter indifference of the driver was encouraging. He was chatting on his cell phone while making hairpin turns and forcing oncoming cars to stop, then rapidly reverse their way up the steep hill. Our driver wasn't going to stop for anything or anyone.

Doug and I found a ruined chapel a little off the path as we hiked up to the monastery. We always seem to be attracted to falling-down structures; probably because they make our old selves seem strong and healthy in comparison. All the other hordes of tourists passed right on by without noticing it.

Our voyage is still young but this precariously perched complex could easily be the highlight of our trip. I am looking forward to our next adventure.

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