Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day Eight and Nine

Last two days in Greece! :(

We arrived really early in Athens and our hotel rooms were not available. So we had breakfast, changed and left for the acropolis. I went last year but it was nice going again. After we visited that we were going to go to the museum but it was closed.

We broke off into little groups and did some shopping! I bought a lot of stuff! Hah I love me some shopping. After shopping for a couple of hours me and the three other people I was with went back to the hotel. Me and my roommate Gigi went back to the hotel and took a 2 hour nap then got ready for the evening.

We went out to a nice dinner as group and then walked to get ice cream. Then we went to see the changing of the guards. I had never seen that before! It was so awesome!!

Then it was off to bed because it was going to be an early morning. I was dead asleep till the fire alarm went off at 2:00 am! Hah

Day Nine

We got up early today and got on the ferry to Aegina. When we got there we went to the monastery of St. Nektarios. I went there last year with the other spiritual odyssey group but It was nice to go again. This time we got to spend more time there. We went to the beach one last time! I love the beach. I wish I lived close by. After the beach we got back on the ferry and headed back to Athens. I went back to start packing up because we have an early flight tomorrow. :( I'm really sad to be leaving Greece. :(

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day Seven

Greetings from Patmos!

Today was our last day in Patmos. We got up very early this morning to go to the women's monastery for divine liturgy. It was so beautiful but very different then what we are used too. Men stood on one side of the church and the women had to be on the other side. After the service was over we went into their store and were able to purchase some stuff then it was a little tour about the monastery.

Next it was off to the Cave of St. John the theologian. Our group called it the "Man Cave". It was EXTREMELY hot but worth it. It was amazing. I know people are like wow she's weird to like a cave but this wasn't just a cave. This was where St. John had his revelation. There is a really pretty church inside of the cave.

Since church was so early we had the whole day to lounge and do whatever. Most of the group stayed at the hotel, napped and swam. 8 of us went to another beach about 15 minutes away. It was amazing. We laid out and got our tan on, we went paddle boating, swimming and of course had lunch! It was a nice relaxing day.

We made it back to the hotel in time to pack, shower and be on our way. We stopped some places and took pictures and then walked to the place we had dinner at. I was very bummed to have to leave Patmos. That was my favorite part of this trip.

We made it on the boat around midnight and were on our way to Athens. The boat ride was 9 hours but this time was a lot better because we had cabins to sleep in! We all got into bed and then some of the boys came to play cards... Slowly and one by one we all started to fall asleep. The beds on the boat were so comfy! I had a goodnights sleep!

Now we are in Athens and waiting to to get checked into the hotel. We are going to change and head to the acropolis and then shopping!

I'll post another later!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day Five and Day six

Hello blog readers!

Hope you guys have been enjoying my posts. When I get gone I'll post more about the trip and I'll post pictures.

Well today is day 4... Not much has happened today. We got to sleep in till 10. A group of people went out in Santorini last night and a group stayed in the lobby of the hotel and hung out. We got up this morning and headed to get on the first boat. The boat ride went very well today. Yesterdays boat ride was not fun at all. 4 of us got sick. Not like for a little bit but for the entire 2 hour boat ride. I was not a happy camper at all yesterday.

This morning I was really nervous about getting on these boats. But the boat was a lot bigger so it was not bad at all. The second one was only supposed to be 6 hours which put us in Patmos around 1:30 am but the boat had to slow down so we didn't get in till 4:00 am... Omg so exhausted!!

After a few hours of sleep we were off to the monastery of St. John the theologian. It was so beautiful. I wish we could have taken pictures. After a little tour of the church we went to meet the abbot of the monastery. We talked a bit then he took us into the library they have. The had books in there from the 9th to the 19th century. Absolutely amazing.

Then it was off to the beach. Our Beach front hotel is amazing. We had lunch then some of us laid out on the beach and some went to the pool. I'm loving the fact that I'm getting a good tan. After about 5 hours of lounging and swimming we got ready to go shopping. We walked around the square for about and hour and a half then we went to dinner.

Dinner was so much fun! We ate then we had the opportunity to Greek dance. No one would get up there so I jumped up to show them what I knew! After a couple of dances the guy who were serving us came on stage to dance. They were absolutely amazing and a couple were completely gorgeous.

Finally back at the hotel and it's time for bed. Have to be up at 6:45 for divine liturgy. We are going to a women's monastery tomorrow and they start at 7:00 and are done by 8:30... Then it will be free time till we go on another boat ride. At least this time we all get cabins to sleep in. Thanks god!

καλή νύχτα

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day Four

Hello everyone!

Greetings from the beautiful island of Santorini!

Where to even start. This morning didn't start off good at all. We took the Mega Jet from Crete to Santorini. It was a 2 hour boat ride which me and 3 other people from the group spent in the bathroom sick out of our minds. That was the most painful experience of my life! And guess what... We get to go on three more boat rides! Lucky me! After we finally got off the boat in Santorini we got on the bus and made our way to the Hotel.

We all got out swim suits on and headed to the beach. A group of us went to eat first then it was off to get our tan on! Some people went into the water immediately and some of us laid out and enjoyed the sun.

After that it was back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. We went out to this little town to watch the sunset... Words cannot describe how beautiful the sunset is here. I was absolutely in love. I don't want to leave tomorrow. Then it was off to eat dinner and do some shopping. I got myself a jersey with my name on the back, and something's for my family.

Now it off to bed! I have to boat rides tomorrow so I need as much sleep as I can get!

Below are some pictures from today! Hope you like them!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day Three

Hello again from Crete.

Last night on the radio was awesome! We were on the radio from 10 pm to 12 am. By the time we got back to the hotel it was about 1:45 am. A group of people went out and some of us stayed in and got some sleep.

We all got to sleep in this morning which was awesome. It was much needed. After breakfast this morning we set off on our adventure in Crete. We stopped by the Church of St. Titus.
We went in and took some pictures and listen to some information about St. Titus.

Next stop was the Church of St. Menas. We saw the church of St. Katherine and the original church of St. Menas. The church was so beautiful. It looked like a lot of the other churches the only difference is the bishops throne was in the back of the alter. Never seen that before. We were welcome to go into the Archdiocese and talk with the archbishop. Of course we took shots of Ouzo with him. That normal here apparently!

When we were done with the churches we got on the bus and headed to Knossos. Knossos is a palace. It took a long time to get through it but it was well worth it. After a very long walk through Knossos a group of us went to get some lunch before our evening activity. After we ate we got complementary loukoumades, watermelons, and Ouzo! Haha Again with the Ouzo!

Then we rushes back to the hotel to change to go to the monastery of St. George. We had vespers and went into the museum and then they had dinner there. Absolutely amazing. It was Linda sad to leave.

Now a group of us are sitting out by the rooftop pool and just hanging out! We have to be up at 6:30 tomorrow to get on the boat to Santorini!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day two

Greetings From Crete.

This morning the IV group went to divine liturgy with the Archbishop of Alexandra. After liturgy we had lunch with the archbishop. Today was a low key day. We have a very long free time today. Some people took naps, others went to the beach, and some of us went to the roof top pool. After lounging around for a while, a group of us went out shopping! I love shopping! Then we all met up for dinner. As usual we had out meat platters and Greek Salads.

After dinner we walked to a little park and waited for our bus driver Michali to come pick us up. We have the same bus driver as we did last year on my trip to Greece! He dropped us off at the radio station. Me and the rest of my group were on the radio with the archbishop of Crete. What a great opportunity! I was on the radio. I probably sounded really goofy! We spent two hours at the station. People could call in and ask us questions. How fun is that!

Well it's time for bed for me! Tomorrow we are going to the island of Knossos and of course the beach! Pictures to come!

Day one in Crete!

We finally made it to Crete! As soon as we got here we went straight to the hotel and got ready to go to the beach! After 2 wonderful hours at the beach we went back and got ready for vespers. After 2 hours at the church for the vespers of St. Marina we finally got to go eat! Food was delicious! Then it was off to bed! We were all so exhausted! The group I am with is so awesome! We all are already getting along! Can't wait to see more of the islands!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Spiritual Odyssey

I know I promised a long time ago but I've been so busy I haven't been able to get around to blogging at all. So here you go. A little story about my perfect summer.

Christmas of 2010 I was sitting around opening presents with my family when my mom handed me a big yet very skinny present. I opened it to see this... 
It took me a while to realize what it was but once I figured it out I was the happiest girl out there. My parents told me that I would be going to Greece for the first time that summer. :-) That night I went over to my best friends house to celebrate Christmas with her family. I told her parents that I was FINALLY going to Greece and I wanted Jenny to come with me.  Growing up we had always talked about going to Greece together and here was our chance. A few months later we packed our bags and set off on a trip together we had always dreamed about. We flew into NYC the night before we were supposed to be leaving for Greece. The next morning we headed to the airport to meet up with the rest of the group. 

I had been told by many that the people I would meet on this trip would be in my life forever. Honestly I laughed. I would only be in Greece for 11 days, How was I going to get close to these people that fast. Well guess what, they were right. I talk to most of the people I went with almost every day. A few have even become some of my best friends. We were only there 11 days, but in those days we became a family.
I look back on those days and smile because that trip changed my life in so many ways. It might have been the dinners we had when Konstantine would order too much food, the dancing in the streets in Thessaloniki or all the Closed churches Father took us too one night. Could have been all the amazing churches we visited and the wonderful people we met. It could have been the fact that I was able to go to the same church my mother and uncle went to knowing that in 1979 something happened to my uncle that would change his life forever.  I really cant put into words how that trip changed my life but it did. I will never forget this summer or the people that I went with. The only thing I wish, is that I could see the people I went with more often. When we are together its like were back in Greece. We can sit around for hours and tell stories and laugh. 

There is so much more I could tell you about the amazing trip I went on, but that might take a while. So below im going to post a few pictures from my trip.
Here are only a few photos. I'll do my best to post some more. But now you know that I really did go on an amazing trip!