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Going to Greekland

BY ABBY--With an Extra Note by Ben

sunny 17 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Nafplio: Saint Anastasius Procession

Nafplio: Saint Anastasius Procession

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.

Nafplio: Saint Anastasius Procession

Nafplio: Saint Anastasius Procession

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.

Nafplio: Greek Orthodox Priest

Nafplio: Greek Orthodox Priest

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.

Extra Note
by Ben

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.

Posted by KZFamily 13:00 Archived in Greece Tagged greece nafplio

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That's great you guys happened upon an event, I love that about traveling, you never know what's going to happen and sometimes the unplanned things are the best!

by Christine

How exciting to read about your latest adventure in Greece! Coming upon this musical event, was indeed seeing "the real slice of life." I hope you may continue to enjoy each day to the fullest. One day when you are back home, all the many travel blogs will remind you of all the special times in Europe.
Thank you for sharing. In thoughts with you!

by Edith Roslee

Dear family,
So you have arrived in "Grieken Land". What a nice trip! When you are traveling, you sometimes do extra ordinary things, such as traveling in the middle of the night. When your dad was a kid we sometimes travelled during unholy hours. Brace yourself Abby and Hannah. There is more to come.
I must admit that I spend a lot of time on your blogs. I also do some research on the places you have been. It is very exciting. Yes, I am an arm chair traveller and I am not ashamed of it.
The parade was interesting. I wonder why the soldiers carried guns, even a religious leader carried a sword. The people in the pictures looked very serious. This parade must have been taken very seriously. I liked the video clip.
I hope we are going to hear more about Greece. During the last year we have heard a lot of doom and gloom about Greece. There must be another side to it. No doubt they attract a lot of tourists during a good part of the year, but no country can survive on tourism alone. Abby and Hannah what is your impression of the young people you see? Tell us a little bit about what you see? I have always a lot of questions but I leave it with this. Opa.

by G.Koning

Just browsed through part of your photo gallery, and I could not help but notice the beautiful stray dog, just lying there, having a peaceful nap. The dog does not look like he/she is starving, so I assume that these stray animals get fed by the locals. Adding this photo gives me an even better insight, on how many interesting things you are discovering. And once again, you sure seem to be blessed with sunshine! Enjoy!

by Edith Roslee

What a colorful, cultural experience. Travel in
Europe is so often about the unexpected,
Unplanned for discoveries. Hope everyone is healthy
Again. Can't wait to hear more about Greece. We found the people on the islands so friendly. If we showed the
Tiniest interest in learning their names and trying the language
We were new best friends. I hope you find the same.

by CBecker

I am reminded of another Mary Stewart book (This Rough Magic). It's set in Corfu and there's a similar parade for its patron saint, Saint Spyridon.

by Jane1

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