Hara Chapel


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Leading from the side of the Hara home are the remains of a pretty mosiac path that winds through the pine trees.  The trail clearly promises some kind of discovery at the end, although we didn’t know what.  With curiosity, we followed it to discover a small chapel that was is need of some TLC but was pretty good structural condition otherwise, but it had no front door.  The paint was peeling off the exterior walls, but the inside was still a blaze of colour.

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And inside someone was still tending the place. Candles burned at the icons of mother and child, the floor was swept, and garlands of olive branches decorated the walls. An old plastic chair in the corner must have been the caretaker’s private spot to enjoy the quiet and peace of the place. We sat a while and looked up to the ceiling. It was a blaze of blue with stars looking down on the pretty ochre walls and wooden carvings.

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So sad that the chapel sits there so lonely most of the time, but its I’m glad to see someone still takes care of it a bit. Wonder what happened to the doors?

Sign Language: Don’t Shoot the Messenger!


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Fire is a serious hazard on a island covered with pine trees in the hot, dry summer. And Spetses has had its share of massive, destructive fires in the last fifteen years.

The message προσοχe κίνδυνος πυρκαγιάς στο δάσος means “Warning. Danger of Forest Fires.” The signs, posted all over the island, are a reminder that human carelessness is a major cause of forest fires. However, not many signs remain. Most are fallen, rusted beyond recognition or — ironically — burned in one of the many forest fires over recent years.  On a recent hike, we spotted this rare example of one that is still in relatively good condition.   To add to the neglect, this sign is peppered with bullet holes.  I’m guessing this is not as a statement of dissent from pyromaniacs, just winter hunters carelessly using them as target practice.  Not very a respectful gesture towards an important environmental message. As we finally watch the baby pines regrow after the great fire of 2000, which destroyed 2/3’s of the trees on the island, perhaps its time to get some new signs up?