A few kilometers inland from Lardos village is the village of Laerma - nothing special just a typical untouristic greek village. We stopped off here for a coffee served by a typical greek gent - our mug of nescafe was almost as strong as a greek coffee and was served with a glass of water and a shot of ouzo on the house! Just a godd chill out place to observe everday greek life.
Further on from Laerma some km along a pleasant tree-lined road is this pleasant monastery complex of the Archangel of Micheal. My guide book said the road was a reasonable dirt track but if fact was now tarmac - funds form the Athens Olympic games have resulted in improving many roads on Rhodes and they were a delight for us motorists in exploring the inner parts of this sunshine island. As in all monasteries respect should be shown by having bare shoulders covered and shorts are not permissible - skirts for ladies are availbale if necessary. YThis monastery is asiad to be the oldest religious foundation on the island and ruins withiin the ground date from the 9th century. Splendid frescoes can be seen inside but the belfry is now equipped with 7 electronically operated bells! The small garden malkes for a pleasant stroll and monastic life can be seen with the theology students studying.
Lachania is a tiny artisitc village - up and coming for homes which have been lovingly restored with their blue doors and white-washed walls and soon for rent - a lot of property development is now occuring we noticed in May 2006.
This village is tucked away amidst green countryside off the main coastal road running the length of Rhodes. The tiny square at eh centre of the village is occupied by a church (under restoration) a small taverna and two fountains - one with an ottoman inscription. All of this is dwarfed by a huge plane tree - so difficult to do it justice with a picture. Plus the rain had just started to fall - the beginnign of a huge deluge we had that night.
Asklipeio was just a few kilometres down to the road yo us in Lardos so we made plans to visit here to see its main attractions; the splendid Byzantine momuments of the Church of the Dormiton of the Virgin and the castle ruins.
The church dates from 1060 and as you can see from this pic has a cruciform shape. The church contained some of the best frescoes I saw on Rhodes, really vibrant colour, so worth a visit just for that if you like frescoes.(pic 2and 3) They are narrative in style with scenes from the old testament. The usual cobbled floor and a huge chandelier are other features.There is a separate belltower (pic 4) with gateway and also adjacent are two small museums of religious artefacts and rural life, including an oil press (pic 5) so you can easily spend an hour or so here.
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Castle at Asklipeio
After you have visited the Byzantine church at Asklipeio head up to the castle ruins above the town for superb views over the area - just follow the signposted road up. The castle has a narrow inner aprapet and ancient water tanks - its rather overgrown so watch your feet - there may even be carcases of animals in there so be warned!
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