BY ABBY--With an Extra Note by Ben
01.02.2013 - 01.02.2013 17 °C
This morning our alarm went off at 2:30... unfortunately it was 2:30 AM. But we survived and by 3 we were driving out of our parking spot and were on our way to the airport. We returned our car and keys with minimal inconveniences and before we knew it we were sitting in our cushy airplane chairs. I like airplanes so the flight was fine for me, and we were even served breakfast which consisted of watery orange juice, fabulous chocolate muffins (Hannah insists that they were actually cupcakes), terrible ham, olive and lettuce sandwiches on horrid white bread and a tiny cup of weak coffee (for my dad). But I was able to trade my sandwich to my father for his muffin (it was NOT a cupcake!!!) and my mom even gave me half of hers as well. The rest of the flight was good and I spent most of it on my iPod, which I had just charged for the first time on trip.
At the end of our 1 1/2 hour flight we rented our new car, Hermes (click for the origin of the name) and were on the road to our destination. We had planned to stop along the way at Corinth, but as Hannah and I had passed out from exhaustion the minute we got into the car, my parents knew that we probably wouldn't enjoy it. Plus, they were pretty tired themselves. When I woke up I was quite pleased at their arrangement, but unfortunately there was no one to let us into our apartment, so we decided to go to the nearest grocery store and pick up some food. However both of the grocery stores were closed, even though the hours stated that they were supposed to be open. But soon we found out from a local that there was a ceremony going on in the centre of town.
We drove closer to downtown and found a parking spot. It wasn't very hard to find the procession as we just followed the ringing church bells and the sound of a band. Soon we were able to catch up to the beginning of the long line up. There was a small marching band, about twenty priests all decked out in their finest and a very, very long line of locals behind them. There were a couple news reporters with cameras taping the procession. The band would play, the bells would ring and priests would sing all at the same time. The ceremony ended at a church and the priests went inside to change into their usual outfit... long black robes.
After this we walked back to our car and drove to our apartments. We were able to go inside and we unpacked a little before we went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. Hannah and my dad had slouvaki while my mom and I had roasted chicken. We also shared some Greek salad and bread. After we relaxed at home for a while and my dad took a nap. But soon we realized that we needed food for supper and my parents went out to find a small store that was open, despite the holiday, and purchased some vegetables and a pizza. After dinner we played a game of Dutch Blitz (my mom lost terribly again... Hannah won, but I was SECOND!) and unsuccessfully tried to watch a Downton Abbey. But it was getting late and so we all got ready for bed and curled up with some books. But before we knew it we had all drifted off into dreamland and we happily thinking of what our next day in Greece might bring.
It turned out to be a municipal holiday in Nafplio. It was a the Saint Day for Anastasius the patron saint of Nafplio. There was only a trickle of traffic on the streets when we arrived. As Abby stated above, it was not hard to locate the celebration with all the ringing of the church bells and then the sound of a marching band along with the singing of cantors. The army, or army reserve, was also a big part of the procession as they carried the icon of Anastasius. The procession seemed to go from church to church and stopped every once in a while for some sort of recitation and then some singing. I have uploaded a brief video clip to Youtube so you can get an idea.
I am quite thankful that the kids were too tired to visit Ancient Corinth. If I had not driven straight through to Nafplio we would have missed this event altogether. Our timing for seeing this event could not have been any better. This the real slice of life you travel to see. It seems these traditions in Greece are still alive and well.