Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Arriving in Patmos

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Well, our ferry ride was quite an adventure. It was supposed to be seven hours, arriving in Patmos at 2 AM. However, the boat had some mechanical problems which caused a four-hour delay. So we had a LONG 11-hour ride, and the boat was just packed full of people. People were sleeping in hallways, under stairs, etc.

Eventually, we arrived in Patmos at 6 AM, just before sunrise. Since there were six of us, we rented a small house together – saving money and getting a better place to stay.

It was a great house! We were in Hora, the ancient capital of the island, and only a 5 or 10-minute walk from the monastery of St John the Theologian. We were about a 20-minute walk from the Cave of the Apocalypse and another 20 minutes from Fr Amphilochios Makris’ Convent of the Annunciation.

Exhausted, we slept for a bit and then walked to Hora to try to catch the end of the Great Thursday morning Foot Washing Service, which in the Greek tradition (so I'm told) is only performed in Jerusalem and Patmos (also called 'the Jerusalem of the Aegean').

The top photo is of Pelagia walking through one of the many confusing, winding and narrow alleys in these island villages. As we tried to find the town’s main square (where the service was being held outside), we ran right into the procession coming our way.

The second photo is of the front of the procession and the last photo is of the end, as it heads toward the Monastery of St John.

As we were standing there watching it pass, we ran into Patricia, who stayed with us for a few days two weeks ago, when she first arrived in Greece on her pilgrimage. As it happened, she ended up going to Patmos for Pascha also, and we reconnected with her during the procession. We were all blessed to spend a lot of time with her over the next few holy days. (She and Pelagia are walking together at the back of the procession in the bottom photo.)

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