I have told you about “Lakis” café, haven’t I? The only old, authentic “kafenio” (café), still open. Like the ones our grandfathers used to spend their evenings at, playing backgammon or card games. It has always been a meeting point, even today, and a perfect spot to watch people moving around.
Α few minutes’ walk from “Lakis” café, the church of Panagia Geraniofora is located and is worth a visit. Take the stone paved path going up to Pano Petali village, walk past the house with the nice iron gate – it was the first pharmacy of the island there – and, just opposite, another house with fruit trees (pomegranate, lemon, apricot), and when the path starts becoming narrower you will see a curved entrance leading to the church yard. You will recognize it by the marble inscription above the door which shows Virgin Mary and Saint George and the part of an ancient column in the middle of the yard.
A nice religious celebration was taking place here until the end of ‘90s. We called it “the crazy celebration” (lolopanigiro) because it was different than the local celebrations at churches. Finger food was offered by the women of the neighbourhood, the priests were dancing and men and women were drinking wine from the curved top of the ancient column without using their hands or glasses!
Look east, below the church and you will see another one, Saint Antony church. Some people can see Dali’s moustache close to the bells!
This church has heard so many stories… From the women of the neighbourhood who used to gather here in the evenings to exchange news, gossip, spend time together, to teenage confessions at the back side of the church, many of us have shared unforgettable moments and have memories connected to Panagia Geraniofora!