JENNA AT NIGHT

Jenna and Louis were out together last night.

We started at the Chart Room. It had been a while since we were together. We had a lot of catching up to do.

Shila was at the bar. She chatted with us a bit.

Jenna is a sparkling 26 year old. A striking beauty. It does my ego good to be with her.

Jenna is a mainstay with West’s local TV channel. she has her own talk show 5 days a week. Does the evening news 3 days a week. The weather 3 days also. She studied for this kind of work in college. After gradu ation, she wascaster for a year in the Cazrolinas. She has been in Key West since. Jenna wants to be Katey Couric.

Dinner was to be Michael’s or Town ‘N Country. Stopped at Michael’s forst. a thirty minute wait. We decided to head to Marriott’s Town ‘N Country. We enjoyed a long leisurely meal. Table talk covered Key West, what was going on, who was involved in what, etc.

After dinner, I dropped Jenna off. Headed over to Don’s Place. stan and his wife there. Stan is herschel’s brother. The wife works at the new Publix. I vented a coulle of minor dislikes I had with the new place. She swatted me down every time. a loyal employee!

The Monastery. The Monastery is on amorgos. On the side of a very high cliff. Everything uphill to get there. First a bus ride up a steep winding hill. then an extremely long walk up irregular steps. then a furhter long walk up a dirt path. finally steep steps directly into the Monastery.

The Monastery is also known as the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, as well as Grace of Panagia. Most Greek words are long. I think intentionally so a stranger may not understand. Basically, the Monastery is a shrine to the Blessed Virigin.

Around 1150 A.D., a King Alexis Comenus was vacationing on the beach in Amorgos beneath a towering cliff. It is said he was sunbathing. At this poit, the historical story takes two twists. The first and probab ly correct is that an icon of the blessed Virgin swept up on the sand at his feet. Jewed and beautiful.

the other tale is that Alexis was on the beach as before when an unmanned ship swept up on the shore. No people on board. Only the icon. It was determined the vessel was from Palestine.

Whatever, Alexis viewed the icon as a message from God. something good for alexis. He decided to build a shrine comemorating the event. As close to the exact spot where the icon was swept ashore.

Behind Alexis was a high cliff. Straight up. thousands of feet. Alexis determined the shrine had to be built on the side of the cliff.

It was.

an architectural triumph when you consider the primitive tools used, the inexperience of workers with such a site, etc. The finished monastery has been and still is considered a masterpiece by builders world wide.

Photo 1 is the bus stop. Note the Monastery sign.

The next photo is of the irregular steps going upward. The Monastery is the white building just above center in the photo.

The Monastery is clearly seen in the next photo. I was below it and still had a considerable distance to walk.

I am closer to the Monastery in the next photo.

Finally, the Monastery! This photo shows the final steps to the front door. The doorway is the only entrance. It is about 4.5 feet high and narrow. the purpose of such construction was to protect the Monastery from invaders. Only one at a time could come through the door. That person had to bend in oredr to enter. The monks inside chopped their heads off as the bad guys tried to gain entrance.

The viedws opf the sea are magnificent from the Monastery. the next photo is a shot taken from inside the front door looking out at the blue water.

The next pic is of a spartan hallway.

The final photo is of the seda from a Monastery window. Again, beautiful!

Monks take vcare of the property. I could not determine the name of the oerder. they take a vow of silence for life, with one exception. They also vow never to see or be seen by those not of their group.

there are only three monks legft today. No wonder. nor an easy liefe style.

there were however 10-15 men working in and around the Monastery doing odd jobs. C leaning, gardening and the like. they were not memebers of a religious order. i suspect they wenmt to the Monastery forf a time to find themselves and God. They followed the silence rule.

A monk spoke to our group once. At the tend of the trip. we were taken in a long narrow room with beautiful hand made tables and chairs. The monk served us a fruit drink spiced with honey and some small sweand gave a brief history of the Monastgery.

the monkk was tall. Hus face weathered. His hands and faced dirty. Dirt under his nails.

Earlier I had wandered through the Monasgtery. there were many other icons also displayed. Many old paintings of monks. Jewelry and other treasures.

Incense was burned inside the Monastery. I could smell it through out the visit. It added positively to the visit.

There was a dress code. enforced. Men had to wear long pants. women a dress or pants. Women ahad to have gtheir arms covered tot he wrist.

That’s it for the Monastery. Tomorrow some pics of the many steps I encountered on gthe tgrip.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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