Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The chapel on the hill

 The church clings to its rock like a limpet mine on a ship's hull. There is a sense of danger up here in the clouds. Any minute now you could topple right over the edge.
Nausea overwhelms you as you peep out over the sheer drop to the valley floor below. In the distance you can see Paleokastritsa harbour, the monastery and not Homer's wine dark sea but your own.

And that speck on the beach, it's probably just a pile of debris washed up by the storms. But maybe, just maybe, it could be the ghost of Odysseus waiting to be discovered by Nausikaa.
It doesn't pay to look too closely. There's many a slip...

To the south is the village of Liapades marching up the hill and to the left the fertile plains of the Ropa Valley, with its gypsies and market gardens. Out across the olives and cypress trees there is Corfu Town, the old fort, the islands of Lazaretto and Vidos sitting in the water and, across the channel, the snow-capped mountains of the mainland and Albania.

Crane your neck around and you see the road along the mountains and villages falling from the sky and tumbling down the hillside.

It's a terrifying, heart-in-the-mouth feeling of vertigo. It is not a place to bring a small child. You might just as well leave a baby to chance in the middle of a busy road.

The emerging leaves of tulip and mullein line the path as you climb back up from the church's perch and back towards concrete and civilisation.
That's about it.

Love Maddie

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