Mary Ruth and April's European Tumble travel blog

The Cathedral of St. Nektarios

Checking out the old churches on the hill

April caving . . . he he!

Well, it has been a good 2 1/2 weeks since we left behind the quiet island of Aegina, but our experience at the Holy Trinity Monastery there will likely stay with us for a long time. With the idea to stay at a monastery while we were in Greece, we decided to forego the party isles and set out for Aegina at the recommendation of our dear Margo and only the name of the priest at St. Nektarios. What followed was I think one of the most humbling and funny experiences of my life. Speaking about 2 words of Greek each we showed up on the secluded monastery steps in the middle of this little island desert. Not knowing how to say anything, or even what to say if we did, or even how to pronounce the name of the priest we were trying to find, we just sat ouside the chapel for a good hour or two waiting to see what would happen. I guess we figured they would eventually get tired of looking at us and either kick us out or tell us what to do. I suppose we would have sat there all night, but God blessed us with Father Emmanuel, who turned out to be an entirely different priest than we were looking for, but spoke perfect English and before we knew it we were shown into our own little private room to stay for the night. When it was all said and done we had stayed 3 nights and been blessed by the hospitality of the nuns and their helpers, three warm meals a day, and the kindness of the other guests. Although the 3 hour long 5am church services were a little rough, the prayer, the solitude and the focus of the place was a beautiful reprieve in the middle of this busy trip and this busy world. People came in and out all day long from all over Greece and elsewhere to venerate the relics of St. Nektarios, which are housed in the chapel, and some had stories of miraculous things that had happened to them by his prayers. With a short hike up the hill were the ruins of several small and very old chapels and we could see the sea surrounding us on every side and the beautiful Agia Sophia-like church down below. What a beautiful place and a beautiful experience!

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