We left the monastery around 2:00 and headed into the city of Alexandroupoli for lunch. Above, see two last photos of the monastery. The first shows the Aegean in the background, with one of the monastery's chapels in the foreground. The second is of the courtyard, taken from outside the vestments workshop.
It didn't take long to drive into the city, and there we parked right next to the water, where the ferries depart for the island of Samothrace. At this time of year, the ferry business to the island was quite slow, but the unusually big parking lot (by Greek standards) gave me the idea that quite a few people went over to the island in the summer.
Anyway, Fr. Alexios knew a restaurant, so we headed there. It was kind of a buffet style restaurant, where there are a wide variety of traditional dishes, all available for inspection. You tell them which ones you want and they bring them immediately. The place was packed, which I think all Greeks will tell you is the only sure sign that ANYTHING is good. It's axiomatic that if there aren't many people there, then the food is no good. Yes, to preempt your question, the failure rate for new restaurants, cafes and similar businesses is EXTREMELY high. But I digress...
As it happened, the food was quite good. The first photo below is of the outside of the restaurant. Afterwards, we took a walk around town and looked for a cafe near the water. The weather has been quite nice recently (sunny, with highs around 60--typical of the "Halcyon days" which usually occur around this time), so the walk was nice. We had a coffee and then headed back around 4:15, arriving home again in a crisp 2.5 hours.
The final photo below is of Fr. Panayioti, me, and Kyr Niko (Mr. Nick) in front of Alexandroupoli's landmark lighthouse just as we were leaving.