We have spent the last two nights in what some call the most romantic little castle town in all of Greece – Monemvasia.
Founded in 583 by mainlanders seeking refuge from the Slavic and Avaric invasion of Greece, it is an archaeological dream and has been continuously inhabited ever since. It is a uniquely preserved, stunningly perfect walled town that has been carved into the rock, with her face exposed to the sea like a great artist’s sculpture seeking sunlight.
Monemvasia is an island that is linked to mainland Greece by way of a tiny little 200-metre bridge causeway made of course, from stone. The ancient town is invisible from the mainland which protected it from enemy attacks but was clearly visible as we arrived by sea. There is just one artery in, and the same one out.
Within the city walls, there are multitudes of tiny, labyrinthine pathways and passages that vein their way along the alleys and crevasses that lure you in with their charm. Everything is made of stone or olive wood and there is most definitely a feeling that you have stepped back through the ages of time, and you just want to inhale it.
There are several Byzantine churches, many tiny, romantic boutique hotels that have cave-like entrances, and charming cocktail bars with dizzyingly good lists that could be your ruination, with terrace views over the walls to the Aegean crashing 200 metres below.
Our plan was always to leave this morning to try and round the Peloponnese Peninsula. It has the potential to be a treacherous piece of water and as the weather window is looking reasonably favourable. The Captain and I agreed we would set sail around 9.00 am this morning, knowing we will have to sail into the early hours of tomorrow morning to miss the coming.
But our plans went to custard when the police came knocking on our bow. It seems there have been some unexploded ordinances found near the little bridge that connects the mainland with Monemvasia, and they advised us we had 15 minutes to prepare and move as they planned to detonate the unexploded bombs as soon as we had moved on. And so our timeline came forward today. And we are pleased to say that as we waved farewell to the beautiful walled city of rock in our rear-view mirror, we heard the explosion to let us know that all is safe again in this little part of the world. Bye Bye Monemvasia, from Sailing Waiata.
In line with the incendiary start to our day, Wales Tom Jones in his best full-throated, hearty baritone recorded “Sexbomb” in collaboration with German record producer and DJ, Mousse T. Sing-along now.Sexbomb, sexbomb, yeah, you’re a sexbomb (uh, huh)
You can give it to me when I need to come along (give it to me)
Sexbomb, sexbomb, you’re my sexbomb
And, baby, you can turn me on
Baby you can turn me on
You know what you’re doing to me, don’t you?
I know you do