Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our "P" Day Excursion to Saint Nikolaos Monastery

About a 45 minute drive northwest of Nicosia where we live is the village of Orounta, Cyprus. There is located a beautifully restored monastery called Saint Nikolaos. It was restored by seven nuns of the Orthodox Church. Yes, seven nuns. They hired out the heavy work to rebuild the living quarters and then they did all the finishing work themselves. There are huge orchards and gardens surrounding the monastery, all of which are kept by the nuns. The monastery was built in the 1500's and the last of the monks who originally lived in and kept it were all murdered by Turkish dissidents.
Then the property fell into ruin. But eleven years ago these seven nuns came to the rescue and restored everything on the property. It is not huge, but it's very large indeed. When we arrived we found no one on the grounds or in the courtyard, and after walking quite a bit I decided to sit down on one of the benches in the transition between the courtyard and the monastery chapel. In a few moments a nun came into the area, said, "hello", and went into a door just across from where I was seated. She soon came out with two very cold glasses of mint tea, served on a tray with napkins. We thanked her and started up a conversation with her.
She spoke in broken, but very understandable English. We enjoyed her company very much, and the surroundings were so peaceful
. It was truly a little bit of heaven, and I could understand why these nuns had chosen this place.
Elder Vargas took several pictures which I have shared here for you to enjoy.
We hope to visit all the ancient landmarks on the Island while here, and we plan to share them all with you on this blog.

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