On Sunday afternoon, we drove about an hour east into Halkidiki to visit the Holy Monastery of the Annunciation in Ormylia, which is a dependency of Simonopetra of the Holy Mountain. Although it was pouring rain when we left Thessaloniki, the weather in Halkidiki was beautiful. In the photo above, Grandma Joyce, Pres. Makrina, Symeon, and Rebecca are walking up the path to the monastery.
We arrived around 2:30, visited the bookstore, and talked with our friend Sister Prosdoki and some non-Orthodox seekers from England and Germany. Above we're sitting in the courtyard having a Greek coffee and talking with the others.
At 4:00, it was time for Vespers, so we walked into the heart of the monastery and into the main church. Afterward, I took the photos immediately above and below from just outside the front entrance to the church. You'll notice the beautiful mosaic of Noah's Ark. One sister spent 4 years, off and on, collecting the stones (all naturally colored) and putting it together.
After Vespers, we started the journey back home to Panorama. Before we left, we spoke for a few minutes with one of the four nuns who had been a doctor before leaving the world. She told Pres. Makrina some things about the medical center associated with the monastery. The photo above is of us walking back down the same path to the car.
And, finally, here we are just outside the monastery, next to the car.
For some reason, the photos are coming out rather small now on the blog, and I can't figure out why. So you can also see the photos, on a bigger scale, here.