"This is a man's retreat",said my femme when we anchored at the small mooring. The fortress monastery up on the hill is majestic,potent,seemingly sprung ready -formed from the rock. it has survived nine turbulent centuries intact,its dark,almost windless walls towering over the encircling white of the houses of Hora.
Despite the massive influx of cruise-ship passengers,over 150,000 of whom make the pilgrimage up from Skala to enter the monastery each year. having no airports,the island has been spared the excesses of modern tourism. recently wealthy outsiders have refurbished bought houses,turning Hora into a ghetto of good taste.
corsairs would have been the major visitors in days of yore because the massive defensive walls of St.John's Monastery seem immune to the passing centuries,as it lours over the Hora of Patinos with its attendant chapels.
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