Sunday, October 13, 2013
I'm not sure if there are words to describe how much I love Sundays. In Greece, the church bells still ring. The morning streets are quiet and slow, and as you near the church, you begin to hear the distant chanting. Jenna, Josh, and I attended St. Gerassimos this morning and the church was full with little standing room left. The church was bright, allowing much sunlight. The iconography was particularly beautiful with bold colors. The hymns and prayers being chanted seemed to bounce off the walls and fill the air. It was one of those liturgies where you can truly feel His presence and the sense of unification within the community. After liturgy we met new friends and went for cappuccinos and frappes, and got to know each other through broken Greek and English conversations. We stopped at a sweet shop on our walk home before we parted ways. It was a day of Christ, coffee, community, and successful studying. There is no way to describe it other than perfect.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
The past month we have been getting to know our neighborhood in Παγκράτι and very quickly, found our favorite cafe and homework spot, Stadium. We have yet to find another cafe that gives you a cappuccino and a bottle of water for €1.50. We pass it every morning on our walk to school and have gotten to know the owners very well. When they're not teasing us, they help us practice our Greek and give us free treats or alcohol when we stay there to study. Today, we finally got a picture with one of our new friends! Yay!
Monday, September 30, 2013
Despite the island's reputation, Santorini was never a place I desired to visit. Its blue water, white sand beaches, and quaint white houses look beautiful on postcards, but my idea of traveling is not exactly the vacation type. If I am spending the time and money to fly across the world, the last thing I want to do is run around sightseeing, drink a cold beer, and lay out on the beach.
Our weekend plans to Santorini happened overnight and I was grateful to travel with Markella. She has a heart of gold, and as you can tell from the photographs, a smile and laugh of pure joy. Together, in the "Disneyland" of Greece, we were able to practice our Greek and were flattered when locals asked if were indeed Greek or maybe Australian. We ate chocolate and nuts for breakfast every morning, paid a whole 3 Euros for Greek coffees, watched the sunset in Oia, had ice cream with the Yiayiades, swam in the hot springs and mud bath before hiking the famous volcano, and danced with our "toast".
Although the weekend was truly a gift, we agreed that the only thing missing was our families. <3
Glory to God for all things.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
I can’t believe it is Sunday again! I haven’t journaled or blogged in exactly a week. I am on the bus back to Athens, but feel like I literally just left for my weekend in Florina. Where is the time going?
Needless to say, it has been the best week spent with my family. Meeting my cousin’s adorable kiddies for the first time was so worth every page of reading and homework that I neglected.
Also, what kind of a photographer leaves her extra battery and camera charger in the States when she is going abroad? What is wrong with me?
P.S. Aren't they muffins?
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Aegina is a thirty-minute metro ride and a one-hour ferry ride from the Pangrati neighborhood in Athens. Today, yesterday actually, marked my second trip to the Saronic Island. Three lovely friends of mine, Erika, Markella, and Jenna, hopped a taxi with me for another ten-minute ride to the Monastery of St. Nektarios. A brief synopsis of his life can be read here. The weather was anything like my previous three trips to Greece. It was a day of gray skies with steady drizzling rain. Regardless, the monastery was as beautiful as I had remembered it. The property was surrounded by desert, mountainous terrain, with flowers and plants lining the white cement and brick buildings. Although the visit lasted all of two hours, there is something about being there that is so peaceful. I can’t pinpoint if it is the beauty in its simplistic environment, the chapels, tomb, or the quiet of the monastery itself. I can only hope that through photographs, blogging, and written journal entries, I can go back to that place and remember the indescribable way it felt.