Wednesday, July 11, 2007


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Pelagia’s parents, Fr. Joseph and Kh. Sophia, arrived safely in Athens last Wednesday evening. After a short visit in Athens (with a trip to visit St Nektarios on Aegina), they arrived in Thessaloniki on Friday morning.

On Friday night, we went downtown to St Demetrios’. They hold Liturgy in the crypt where he was martyred every Friday night.

On Sunday, after Liturgy here at St George’s in Panorama, they went on a trip with Pelagia to Volos, a city about 3 hours south of Thessaloniki, halfway between here and Athens. There they visited two monasteries, and then returned Monday evening.

On Tuesday, our parish priest, Fr Alexi, took us on a trip with his family to visit the island of Thasos, which is about 3 hours east of here, just on the other side of the Holy Mountain.

We left Panorama at about 8 AM in the church’s little mini-van and arrived at the port to take us over to Thasos at about 11:15. There we caught a boat which would make the 40-minute jaunt over to the island of Thasos.

On board we were entertained by a three-person band which played traditional Greek folk music. Pretty soon we were all dancing ! (See top photo.)

We landed on the island (along with the van), and headed off down the coastline. The island is not very big, so we took the scenic route and followed the road which made a big circle around the island. After about 20 minutes, we stopped to take some pictures of the view – which featured the west coast of the Holy Mountain in the distance. (See the second photo – the Holy Mountain is just visible in the background, to the right.)

After another 20 minutes, we arrived on the other side of the island, where we stopped to visit the Monastery of the Archangel Michael, which features a piece of one of the nails used to crucify Christ. A dependency of Philotheou, the site was originally a small chapel built in 1090 to commemorate an appearance of the Archangel Michael to a local monk, St Luke. Elder Ephraim founded a women’s monastery on the spot about 30 years ago.

The monastery sits on a cliff and has a spectacular view of the ocean and the Holy Mountain. (See the bottom two photos.)

We had a nice visit with some of the sisters and then hit the road again, traveling up the other side of the island to a restaurant up in the mountains that Fr Alexei knew…(to be continued)

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