Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Parents Visiting

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My parents are here visiting at the moment. They arrived Monday around 1 PM after a very long journey.

We walked around Panorama a little bit that day and oriented them. We also had some of Panorama’s famous trigonas (a sweet that was invented in Panorama).

The top photo is from Monday evening, taken near our apartment building. In the very distant background (blurred out by the light) is the city of Thessaloniki and the Thermaic Gulf.

On Tuesday we went downtown and explored a little bit of Thessaloniki. We saw the Kamara (built 297 by the Emperor Galerius), the ruins of Galerius’ palace, and the Rotunda, which was originally built as Galerius’ mausoleum. When Christianity became the state religion 80 years later, the Christians used it as a church. The Ottomans converted it into a mosque during their reign. Now it is once again being restored to a church.

You can see it in the background of the second photo, including the distinctive minaret, which still remains. The colorful umbrellas you see are from various coffee shops lining the sidewalk.

The third photo is from inside the Rotunda. My mom is pointing up to some of the original mosaic work, which restoration has recently uncovered.

The final photo is from the Monastery of St Theodora, located right in the heart of Thessaloniki. Pelagia is showing my mom some of the impressive new iconography.

After the sites, we had lunch in a traditional Greek taverna, tucked away in an alley. Then Pelagia and I headed to our Byzantine chant lesson while my parents explored a little bit on their own.

There are a few more pictures here.

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