Monday, May 26, 2014

Agios Lavrentios-Agios Georgios

Agios Georgios
Distance: 5,9 km
Duration: walking time 1.35', total time 2 hours
Altitude: from 560 m. (Agios Lavrentios) to 500 m. (min.) to 630 m. (Agios Georgios)
Total ascent: 251 m. Total descent: 174 m.
Signing: red marks, signs
Drinking water on walk: yes (Ai Giannis chapel)
Download GPS track:   from Everytrail    from Wikiloc

        Setting off downhill from the square in Agios Lavrentios, we immediately come to a neoclassical marble spring water drinking fountain on our left and next to this begins an uphill kalderimi, which we follow. Further up we come to another dry water fountain and notice a cement road going to the left. However, we continue to the right on the uphill kalderimi which soon takes us to the monastery of Agios Lavrentios, which gave its name to the village. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Pilion, built in 1378 by the Athonite monk Laurentius on the foundations of an even older building (perhaps from the beginning of the 11th century) built by monks from Amalfi, Italy. At present it has three nuns and celebrates on March 10th.
Agios Lavrentios monastery

      An asphalt road runs along the top side of the monastery and we walk along this downhill. Further down, at a hairpin bend to the right, we find the path which descends straight into the Koufala ravine. Along the way we encounter increasingly common sections of kalderimi.
         We cross the stream stepping from stone to stone and arrive at the chapel of Ai Giannis next to a spring from which the water is led away by a cement channel. This cool, shady spot, equipped with benches and an open air grill, is especially suitable for summer recreation.
Ai Giannis chapel

     We continue walking along an earth road and further on there is a junction from which the road on the right descends towards Agios Vlasios. We take the left branch and climb slightly uphill. After a short distance, another road joins from the left and a bit further up the hill we see the monastery of the Taksiarchon (Archangels). The path should pass by the monastery, and at the end of the uphill section we can see where it continues if we look on the left bank of the road. Initially it is passable, but near the monastery it becomes difficult because of soil that has been dumped on the path there.
Taksiarchon monastery near Agios Georgios

     Thus, we prefer to continue on the road, coming out onto a narrow asphalt, which we follow uphill. As we near the monastery after a left turn in the road, we turn right onto a narrow earth road that immediately brings us to the open air theatre “Aloni”.
Theatre ''Aloni''

      We walk on for a few metres and, with the cement road on our left, we walk straight ahead through an opening in the fence onto a path. We pass a second fence after which the path descends onto a cement road and we meet the first houses of Agios Georgios.
Reaching Agios Georgios

      Where the road ends, we continue on a path which later becomes a kalderimi. This descends to the main road through the village. We immediately pass a spring water drinking fountain with a marble lion’s head. Walking on the road, which coverred the kalderimi that used to be there originally, we go past the church of Agios Georgios and arrive at the square, next to the museum exhibiting the works of sculptor Nikolas.