The Monastery of St Moses of Ethiopia, Syria

Today was our final coach trip out of the trip.  We have places to visit on this trip.  First the Monastery of St Moses the Ethiopian and secondly Seidnaya and the monastery of the holy virgin.  But all did not go quite to plan. 

At 9.00am are waiting with our guide for our coach to turn up.  It was about 20 minutes late because it had been waiting outside the wrong hotel.  En route to th Monastery of St Moses, the coach gets a flat tyre.  We are releaved to discover that there is a spare tyre… especially as we are in the middle of nowhere. 

What is a little disconcerting is that it requires the guide and one of our fellow travellers to stand on the wrench to free the nuts holding the punchured wheel on.

Arriving at the Monestry we have a long climb up a mountain (with some 300 steps) to reach our destination.  It is worth the climb as the 11th Centuary monastery is facinating.  Christian churches in Syria are very, very formal (mostly Greek orthadox, or catholic), but this place is very informal, the priest sits on the floor with those attending the service so that they can read the Bible and learn together. 

Bibles, guitars, and cusions are all to be found at the side of the chapel.  I suppose it is a sort of Syrian equivalent to a Fresh Expression church! Oh, yes and they’ve got some 11th Centuary paintings on the walls too (Which is what we were supposed to be looking at!).

Leaving St Moses Monestry and heading off to lunch… bang… the spare tyre which what been put on earlier blew out on the motorway!  Thankfully, an opportunistic mini-bus taxi (these taxis are known as “White rats” localy) pulled up and took us on to our lunch stop.  

A replacement coach joined us at the resturaunt to take us on to Seidnaya, what appeared to be another climb upto a monastery.  Thankfully this one had a lift installed.

The monastery of Holy Virgin is notable for its famouse icons… which we were not alowed to photograph.  However I was able to get some interesting shots from the roof.  Including shadow patterns on the steps up to the monastery.

Shadows and Steps

The journey back to the hotel was uneventful!