The Hotel Palota in Lillafüred, Hungary.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Zvolen, Slovakia.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Crossing into Czechia later this week!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Bike and hike to a monastery

Thursday late morning we set off on a bike ride. It was only 10 kms (6 miles) to the monastery we wanted to visit, but it was a steady incline that gets steeper the higher we go. It was pretty chilly out, but since we were going uphill it didn't take long to warm up. Still, we were glad to have our hat and mitts on. 

We got past the town of Leonidio and the incline got a little steeper.

We managed to do 7 kms on the bikes before things got too steep to continue on them. So we still had a 3 km steep uphill hike to do.

Heading higher on the bikes. 
Can you see that tiny white speck at the upper left?
That's where we're headed!

Here, I'll zoom in for you.

And a little more.

Looking back at the town of Leonidio.

And looking ahead up the valley.

Still on the bikes!

Looking back.

It was around this point that we decided it was too steep to continue on the bikes. We found a fence to lock them up against, and continued on foot. Once we had passed the town, we had only see one other person headed up there, and nobody on their way back down.

Ruth spotted this big goat looking thing up above us!

Glad we didn't attempt to take Max up here!

You could actually drive a car up here. In fact, even Max would have made it but there were a lot of sections where it would have been impossible if another vehicle were coming the opposite way. Besides, if we drove up we wouldn't have got any exercise!

Yikes. Pretty narrow in this section.
Definitely not a good idea to take Max up here!

Ruth and the scenery.

Looking down on our road.

Beautiful views.

Still heading higher!

Almost there!

Holy Monastery of Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas) of Sintza.

We got to the gate, but there was nobody home!

I've read online that there is only one nun who lives here as a caretaker. No idea if that is true or not. 

The monastery dates back to the 13th century. You can see evidence of a trail leading along the canyon below the road, and that was obviously the old way of hiking up before the road was built. There are also a lot of caves in the canyon walls where you can see rock walls built.

There is also a hiking trail heading higher than the monastery, up to the highest point behind it. We did about half of it but decided time was getting on and we still had to go back down. Besides which, it was getting quite a lot colder at the higher altitude.

Pretty little flower growing out of a rock.

Lots of rock up here!

Right in the center of this photo is another cave and wall.

Zoomed in.

And another one.

We were running out of time or I would have liked to hike up there. Very cool stuff!

Of course going back down didn't take nearly as long. Especially once we got on the bikes. Hardly had to peddle at all the whole way back to Max!

Today we are moving on. We had a nice four night holiday here at the campground, but Turkiye is calling and we want to get going. We've got some driving days ahead of us.

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  1. I wouldn't want to meet that ram in a dark alley😉 Gorgeous scenery!

    1. Lol, no I wouln't either but I think he would run away long before that happened, apparently wild goats/sheep are very shy.

      The scenery was beautiful on our hbike/ike.

  2. Always amazed at the ingenuity & work that was put into building all the various monasteries & castles centuries Ago!

    1. It always amazes us too! We honestly don't understand how they made this buildings so long ago and how they made some of them like this monastery so high up and built into the cliff like that.

  3. Beautiful area and love the hike up to the monastery. I too would have like to hike up to the rock wall with a stove pipe sticking out and a door. Wonder if anyone lives there.

    1. It is a beautiful area for sure, we really enjoyed our bike ride/hike up into the mountain.

      There is nobody living in that cave/rock wall building. There is no door or stove pipe, it is just a gap/window in the rock wall and part of the wall on the left is falling down but it would have been interesting to have managed to get over there to check it out.

  4. That was a pretty cool trip. Too bad nobody was home.

    1. We enjoyed our bike ride/hike up to the monastery. Yeah, it was a bit of a shame that it wasn't open. Apparently after the fact, our campground host told us that if we went somewhere in town we could have got the key to the place. Not sure if it was at the municipal building or the church. Oh well, we went up mostly for the exercise and the views, than we did for the monastery itself.


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