Summer season had already started to appear. I decided to depart for Kalamata. The minor traffic that I’ve met on the road while driving, made the driving experience delightful. After passing Tripoli (150km from Athens), I continued for Megalopoli (34km) following the only road with the many twists. This specific route is not the best one, concerning the quality of the construction and maintenance of the road. It offers however a pleasant change, after the really boring highway Athens – Tripolis.
I followed the peripheral road to Megalopoli, driving with direction towards Kalamata. Reaching the junction for Saint Theodora (6km after Megalopoli), the same thing stuck to my mind, as it happens every time I reach that location: The memories from my last visit to the small church of Saint Theodora 15 years ago, along with my parents…. Absorbed by this kind of memories, while reaching the junction, I unconsciously blink the right flash of my bike…!!!
Moving towards a deserted provincial road, my curiosity was getting bigger and bigger. I was wondering how much this place would have change year by year. The route was really enjoyable, in between thick greenery, which was getting better as I was approaching my final destination. Reaching the area “Kathistres”, I drove next to a newly built church of Saint Dimitrios. From that point an on, there’s a downhill distance of 3 to 5 km, where the road narrows down and the greenery is getting thicker. At some points of the route, some parts of the road are damaged, but without creating difficulties to drive through them. The landscape though was stunning!!
Near the last turns before the church, I was able to hear the river … Finally; I reached a platform where the church was in front of it. Inside the plan-tree forest there’s this small church of Saint Theodora. Most of the people know this from its rather “bizarre” phenomenon: 12 huge plan-trees are growing on the top of this small church, which occupies no more than 10 square meters!
Observing it, the impressive thing is that you can’t really understand where the roots of these trees are! It gives you the impression that they’re sprouting up from inside the walls!!! Unfortunately, I don’t know the history of this church. If I’m not mistaken, its history is connected with the discovery of a picture of Saint Theodora, which was found at that location. Beneath this rather small construction, there’s drinkable, fresh water.
For a while I examined the area and the church, from the inside but also from the outside. I couldn’t come up with a safe conclusion for this rather unusual phenomenon…
The widen area had change since my last visit, 15 years ago. Luckily enough, it didn’t go bad! There was a major changeover, concerning the rocks, which now offered an easier passage to the people. The only thing that was dissonant was the few – luckily! – street vendors, selling candles and various souvenirs, something that’s very common to sightseeing of this kind…
After an hour or so, I departed for Kalamata. Driving through this amazing green route, I was thinking that the small church of Saint Theodora is an interesting destination, either religion-wise, nature-worshipping-wise or clearly as a tourist quest.