After Osios Loukas, we headed toward nearby Arahova for lunch. The kids fell asleep during the short ride over. Above, you can see Paul still sleeping as we ordered food.
Here our friend Fr. Stavros, the driver, gives Phoebe the phone to talk to his presvytera, Maria. Phoebe told her in Greek all about our trip.
After lunch, we took a walk through Arahova to admire the views. Above, you can see some of the stairs leading to one of the village's two churches. The stairs seemed to go on forever! And you could just make out the church at the top.
One of our parishioners, Christina, an iconographer, is from the area. She served as a kind of guide for us. Here she is with Phoebe in Arahova.
Here we are as we're about to get back on the bus. Many wealthy Athenians have second houses in Arahova, like those you see in the photo above. They even have them set up so that they can turn on the heating via internet, so that the house is warm by the time they drive the 2-2.5 hours from Athens!
Coming out of Arahova and heading to our final destination, we passed through the famous city of Delphi, which the ancient Greeks considered the center of the world. We didn't have time to go into the archaeological site and explore, so we had to settle for taking a photo from a distance.
Our final destination with the Monastery of the Prophet Elijah, where we had Saturday night Vespers along with another visiting priest and his parish.
This monastery is renowned for its hand-carved templon or iconostasis, featuring intricately carved scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The work dates to around 1830 and is said to have taken 20 years for the artist to complete.
After that, we headed back toward Volos, finally making it into Portaria shortly before 10 PM. A long day, but with many blessings. We hope to make next month's trip either to the monasteries of Evia or to the monastery of St. Ephraim in Nea Makri.
For all the photos from the day, click here.