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Into the mountains on the Peleponnes

The Peleponnes does not let us go. A little along the Gulf of Corinth we drive by car to Diakopto. From there a narrow-gauge railway (partly as a rack railway) runs through a spectacular gorge 23 kilometres up into the mountains to Kálávryta. Unfortunately we have to note that all trips are fully booked for this day. Therefore we drive by car through a spectacular mountain landscape towards Kálávryta until we reach the monastery Mega Spileon.

The monastery is built on the vertical rock. In 1943 the German Nazis burned it down, in revenge for the partisans of the Greek People's Liberation Army ELAS, who succeeded in capturing 81 German members of the Wehrmacht. These were to be exchanged for Greek freedom fighters. But this did not succeed. 17 children and monks aged between 14 and 88 years died in the monastery. A memorial plaque bears their names and age. The Nazis also raged in Kálávryta. They drove all 1300 inhabitants together, killed all the men, looted the houses and set them on fire. These deeds have not been atoned for until today!

We can always see the route of the narrow-gauge railway at the bottom of the gorge from above. Those who like to hike can take the train to the middle station and then walk down again along the tracks in three and a half hours. The walk also takes you through tunnels and over exposed bridges. This is where a head for heights is required. We would have loved to do that. But the tour by car was also very impressive.

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