Travel experience 

Written by Bill Economou
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Translated by Marialena Lioulia

Elikonas – St Lucas – Levadia

The rides during sunny winter weekends have an essence of their own…

You decide to leave your warm home, to dress well and go on an  excursion with your «sweetie» somewhere near or a bit further away.

On  such a winter Saturday, we decided to go all the way up  to St. Lucas Monastery in Viotia.

The sun which came out on Friday after a whole week of  bad weather with rain, cold and snow,  made us long for a similar weather on  Saturday.

On Saturday morning and a  bit later than usual, we met at the meeting point.

New faces in the crowd, full of smiles and joy completed the puzzle of the T-Motoriders group.

The picturesque route we had to follow  until Osios Loukas was, crossing through Plataies village, Kaparelli, Domvraina, Aghia Anna and Kyriaki, keeping in mind the points of the road without sun from Villia to  Erythres which we knew that would hide hazards due to thin ice, that is why we were very careful with our driving.

The first recruitment during which we would meet with members from Chalkida, occured in Plataies just before the village.

Kithaironas  mountain  on our left filled with snow and the point from where the hung gliders  take off in the distance was barely visible.

Through the valley we started our route to Lefktra village, a location which is known for the famous military tactics in the battle between the Spartans and the Thebes´ army. We passed the monument  which is  a column with the enemy’s armoury on top, by the riverside of Mornos, as a reminder of the historical event.

Reaching Domvraina, the nice open curves in the valley were followed by closed narrow loops and the mountainside of Kithaironas layed in front of us. The snow was very thick, making the scenery more noticeable from the routes that we had already passed.  As  we climbed higher the   snow increased on both sides of the road.

The white landscape which rose in front of us, was shining  with  the warm rays of the sun like small valuable diamonds and it filled our eyes with this kind of wild beauty.


Helicon, home of the Nine Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyni, who chanted the great achievements of their father for the admirable way   he used putting  things into order with the Universe.

This beautiful valley remained known in history as Valley of the Muses or as a «holly forest», οr «holly grove» of the Muses, because the worship of the Muses was developed and established for many centuries, after their settlement from the area of Pieria Mountains and admiring the site makes you think that any minute now the nine daughters will appear and start dancing with their colourful veils!

After Aghia Anna some parts of the road were covered in ice. Adrenaline rose since we had to pay attention on the road , watching for one more time our driving!!!

The next recruitment of T-Motoriders was in Arvanitsa, a glade in the forest between Aghia Anna and Kyriaki, where we laid our bikes in a row for taking a commemorative picture.

Like small kids we started playing in the snow, stepping in the pure white carpet and sinking in its´ white contour. The flying snowballs were thrown rhythmically into the air and whether you could avoid them or not was clearly a matter of tactics!!! Teasing and laughing filled the air in the secluded valley, bringing life with the joyful voices…

We rode our little beasts again and very carefully we entered Kyriaki which viewed from on top ,seemed like a village sprayed with snow, like icing on cupcakes.

The image got ugly when we rode at the narrow, full of snow alleys of the village, fearing that our motorcycles would skid… Thankfully, snow wasn´t frozen but the sense of danger could not abandon us…

Climbing down the other side of Helicon, we watched the Holy Monastery of Osios Loukas which was apparent  among the olive trees.

Our  team  grew  bigger   because there we met our friends from Patras.

We left our bikes in the big and sophisticated parking lot and walked down the hill to the monastery.

The convit of Osios Loukas is included in the World Heritage Momuments of Unesco, built upon the temple of Demetra Steiritis from the Saint  himself, who led an ascetic life there. Mother Mary temple was built long afterwards, during the 10th century AD. It is based on   the architectural style of the complex cross-in -square church , which distinguishes the architectural school of Constantinopole.

The unique mural that survived from the original decoration of the church of the Virgin narrates the appearance of the Archangel Michael to Joshua before the conquest of Jericho.

Frescoes are preserved in the southern part of the cross and the ministry. They represented a total of five forms of prelates who have been dated in the late 12th century. The Cathedral, built to house the relics of the saint, is the largest church complex which is located in the south of the church of Our Lady .

There is evidence that the monastery was famous throughout Byzantium for the luxury of decoration, which spread on all surfaces. Besides the walls  ,sculpture, gold and silver plates, murals and mosaics extremely impressive on concave surfaces, interior decorating pictures, chandeliers, silk curtains and altar cloths (antimensia) . Only a part  remains today in place, mainly colored marble and railings on the windows.

In the precincts of the Temple after the reverential of our pilgrimage, we drank our coffee and enjoyed the beautiful view offered to us by the landscape. Local  products sold there were delicious !!!

The time had started to pass and our ride included yet another destination and even … gastronomic … Levadia … so we had to start early after rigged with our warm jackets …

The fountains   of  Krya was our final destination. Arriving we put the bikes  beside the Erkyna river that flows through  the city of Levadia and was named after the daughter of the goddess Demeter. There we met  another member of the T-Motoriders, resident of Levadia, who led us to a gastronomic rumble , on the river .

The sausages, the plentiful salads, the red wine and the wonderful dishes were all we needed to seal our very beautiful route into nature , with the nice images printed into our minds and the smile drawn onto  our lips.

After a good meal, dessert and coffee was a necessary addition to complete the gastronomic bliss… making a sweet closure to our excursion.

The return was held through Thiva´s old national road. The sun was setting softly behind the mountains, spreding an orangeyellowish colour , while the cold became more prominent.

We, on the contrary, were full of images, emotions and true satisfaction, on our way back we set our plans for the new escapade filling our mind with a mixture of both…