Friday, June 25, 2010

Visit to the Churches Downtown

On Wednesday afternoon, we all headed downtown to do some exploring and to check out the new second-hand store that recently opened in Thessaloniki. This is, as far as we know, the first of its kind in the area. Culturally, there is a negative perception toward "used" goods, as it is associated with poverty, which much of the country suffered until just a generation or so ago. Perhaps, though, with the current crisis, these kind of ideas will become more culturally acceptable. Of course, it is also true that, in Greek society, you would simply give your still-useable second-hand things to friends, acquaintances, or friends of friends, not to some anonymous charity organization, as American culture is more inclined to do.

(In the photo above, Kh. Sophia is walking toward the store with the Rotunda (ca. 300) in the background.)

In any event, Pelagia enjoyed the store and found a couple small things we could use. While she and her mom were there, I walked over with Paul and Benjamin to the nearby Byzantine church of St. Panteleimon (ca. 1300), where the babies like to play in the picturesque and clean courtyard, an oasis in the middle of the city. Above, Paul is playing with the hose in the courtyard.

Here, Paul is heading into the church to venerate the icons.

We then all met up again and headed over to the enormous ancient basilica church of Panagia Ahiropoiitos, which dates to 450 AD. In the photos above and below, you can see Phoebe playing at the back of the church.

Another view of the babies playing at the back of the church.

When we headed out, Kh. Sophia strapped Benjamin on her back for the walk back toward the car. The church is in the background.

We stopped briefly at the Mt. Athos Center so that Kh. Sophia could see the photographic exhibit, and then we headed past the Arch of Galerius (ca. 300), in the background of the photo above, back to the car. It was a blustery day and you can see everyone here trying to power through the gust.

Photos posted here.

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