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The Greek Orthodox Church and Her Saints: Saint Andrew. Feast Day 30 November.


Saint Andrew by El Greco
Saint Andrew by El Greco


Saint Andrew's day is celebrated world wide, on the thirtieth of November.

 Andrew, the Patron Saint of Greece, Russia and Scotland,

was a fisherman and brother of Saint Peter, the first disciple of Jesus,

and was in born in Bethsaida,on the Sea of Galiliee


Jesus calling St.Andrew and St,Peter.
Jesus calling St.Andrew and St,Peter.


Saint Andrew was first a disciple of Saint John, whom he later left, to follow Jesus.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, Saint Andrew was also crucified, by the Romans, in Patras, Greece.


Crucifixion of St.Andrew.
Crucifixion of St.Andrew.

Andrew deemed himself not worthy of being martyred on the same type of cross as Jesus, 

and asked to be tied to a cross in the shape of an X, 

from this X-shaped cross comes the flag of Scotland, The Saltire.


The Saltire, flag of Scotland
The Saltire, flag of Scotland


The Scottish flag is the oldest of any country,
 dating back to the twelfth century.


St.Andrew's Cathedral, Scotland
St.Andrew's Cathedral, Scotland


Relics of Saint Andrew are kept in the Church Of Saint Andrew in Patras, Greece,

the older church, found a short distance from the new one, is built on the site, where Saint 

Andrew was crucified.


St.Andrew's church, Patras, Greece
St.Andrew's church, Patras, Greece


The Church of Saint Andrew in Patras, is the largest church in the Balkans, with a capacity


 to hold up to five and a half thousand people,

thousands of Christians, from all over the world, travel to Patras to see the relics, which are

 a little finger, part of the skull and small pieces of the cross.


Relics of St.Andrew, Patras
Relics of St.Andrew, Patras



Relics of St.Andrew, Patras
Relics of St.Andrew, Patras

Add captRelics of St.Andrew, Patras, ion
Relics of St.Andrew, Patras, 

Pieces of St Andrew's cross, Patras, Greece.
Pieces of St Andrew's cross, Patras, Greece.

The relics (pieces of the cross) had been taken, during the crusades, from Greece by The


 Duke Of Burgundy and were kept in the Church of Saint Victor in Marseilles, but

 were returned to Patras on  nineteenth of January 1980.

Another significant church dedicated to Saint Andrew is The Church Of Saint Andrew in 

Kiev, Ukraine.

The Church Of Saint Andrew in Kiev, Ukraine.
 The Church Of Saint Andrew in Kiev, Ukraine.

A beautiful statue of Saint Andrew is on  display in The Vatican City.


Statue of St.Andrew, The Vatican City.
Statue of St.Andrew, The Vatican City.

St.Andrew's Church, Loutraki, Greece
St.Andrew's Church, Loutraki, Greece


Our local church of Saint Andrew, Loutraki.

Happy name day to all Andrews and Andreas!

Read about more Saints of The Greek Orthodox Church below.

SAINT NICHOLAS

A Celebration of Angels. Archangels Michael, Gabriel Et Al.

Once upon a time in Athens Greece: Photos: Then and Now


Acropolis Athens
Acropolis Athens

Everybody just loves poring over old photographs, well, I know I do.

Even more so when I actually know the places depicted in the pictures.

After spending time this afternoon, looking at beautiful old pictures of Athens, I decided to share them with you.

It was difficult choosing from so many, I hope you like what I finally came up with.

They are all :

"Before and after"

Scroll away to your heart's content and enjoy!

Acropolis Athens
Acropolis Athens

Athens has become so built up, I don't think  you would find sheep grazing there now.

This is Greece though, you never know!

Monastiraki, Athens
Monastiraki, Athens

Monastiraki looks much larger now but still has a lot of open space.

Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, Syntagma Square, Athens
Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, Syntagma Square, Athens

Digging underneath the parliament building in Syntagma square during the construction of: "The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier"

Plaka, Athens
Plaka, Athens

Anyone who has toured around Athens, will recognise the second picture,
would they have known that the first is Plaka?

Zonars coffee, shop,Athens
Zonars coffee, shop,Athens

Zonars  coffee shop.


Posh then, and still very posh today!

Drachma and Euros
Drachma and Euros

Ah, the Drachma, I think most Greeks wish that we had it back!


Greek kiosk
Greek kiosk
The ubiquitous kiosk, a little more variety today, sadly, they do seem to be disappearing, little "sell everything" shops are popping up all over.

Amalias Street, Athens.
Amalias Street, Athens.

Amelias street in the centre of Athens, much more traffic today but not many horses and carts!

Emporikon Hotel Athens
Emporikon Hotel Athens

The Emporikon Hotel, Aiolou street.

"Urban decay"

What a shame that it has been left to rot.

Basilopoulos Supermarket
Basilopoulos Supermarket

A B Basilopoulos, the first supermarket in Greece, taking over from the local  "Bakaliko" (grocers shop)

Athens International Airport
Athens International Airport

Athens International Airport, the first picture is 1957.

When I first arrived in 1977 it was much the same!

Panapistimio Street, Athens
Panapistimio Street, Athens

Panapistimio street, a very busy street, then with pedestrians, now, with buses and taxis.


Ploutarchou Street, Kolonaki, Athens
Ploutarchou Street, Kolonaki, Athens

Ploutarchou street, Kolonaki, the exclusive area of Athens.

The British Embassy was situated on this street.

Ploutarchou Street, Kolonaki, Athens
The Grand Bretagne Hotel, Syntagma Square, Athens


The Grand Bretagne Hotel, Syntagma Square.

Not much change here, still the "Grand Old Dame" of Athens.

Psiri, Athens
Psiri, Athens

The Psiri area of Athens.

 Very popular with young people now for its lively night life.

Thission, Athens
Thission, Athens


The area of Thission, just below the Acropolis, again, very built up now.


 Theatre of Dionyssus and Dionyssiou
Theatre of Dionyssus and Dionyssiou

1903 Aerial view of the " Theatre of Dionyssus and Dionyssiou "
Areopagitou street.

 Under the Acropolis

Syntagma Square (Constitution) Athens
Syntagma Square (Constitution) Athens

Syntagma (Constitution) Square.

Syngrou Athens
Syngrou Athens

Syngrou Avenue, a very busy road today, I bet all drivers wish that it was more like the before picture!

Polytechnion, Athens


e Athens Polytechnic, the trees have grown!

Lekavittos Street, Kolonaki, Athens
Lekavittos Street, Kolonaki, Athens


Lekavittos street, Kolonaki.

Lykavittos, Athens
Lykavittos, Athens


Lykavittos


Hadrians Arch, Athens
Hadrians Arch, Athens

Hadrians Arch in the very center of Athens.

Ermou Street. Athens
Ermou Street. Athens

Ermou street, the busiest shopping street in Athens.


Corner of Ermou & Kapnikareas, Athens
Corner of Ermou & Kapnikareas, Athens

The corner of Ermou street and Kapnikareas, 


Caryatids house, Keramikos, Athens
Caryatids house, Keramikos, Athens

A house in Keramikos decorated with Caryatids.

The first picture is by Henri Cartier Bresson, a great photographer.


I hope you liked looking at the Athens of yesteryear as much as I did.



Homegrown in Greece. A Greek Garden


Plumbago & Basil
Plumbago & Basil

Gardening is a rewarding hobby, it's hard work, sometimes a chore but the results make it all worth while.

MGG (My Greek God) and I are very pleased with the results of our years of hard work.

See  pictures our garden HERE.

There's nothing more satisfying though, than seeing that first tiny shoot emerge from a seed, that you have planted and lovingly nurtured.

If you are anything like me, after planting seeds, you inspect them carefully every day, I even put on my reading glasses to make sure that I don't miss anything!

The days turn in to weeks, they are no longer inspected so often, eventually I accept that they have been a failure.

 Then, one day, when they are nearly  forgotten about, I have a quick glance and there it is: that first sign of life.

The excitement!

I'm back to inspecting them every day, first thing in the morning, before I have even had my coffee!

I have been very lucky with seeds and pips, my latest are from date stones.
I had planted twelve, four of them germinated only for two of them to later die.

The two that survived are ready to be "Potted on"


Date palm
Date palm

That will be my job for tomorrow.

I'll have a sort through my collection of clay pots, see if I have enough fresh earth and settle them into their new homes.


Clay pots

While I'm at it, I shall plant some palm tree seeds, that I collected at the end of the summer.

MGG  took a photograph of me as I was returning from the beach one morning.

Posing under the palm trees, that are just outside our house, I noticed the hundreds of seeds and collected a few.



 Palm trees with seed clusters
 Palm trees with seed clusters

The yellow, outer casing of the seeds is very tough, I had a very sore thumb nail after removing the seeds from their protective  casings.

Don't the seeds look like coffee beans?

Seeds from a palm tree
Seeds from a palm tree

My first success with seeds and fruit stones was in 2004, the year of the Greek Olympic Games.

I had planted plum stones, peach stones, apricot stones and lemon pips.

That same year, a tiny fig sapling appeared of its own accord , I nurtured that too.

2004 was the year that I had planted the various pips and stones, I think we had our first fruit about five years later, the plums.


Plum blossom
Plum blossom

Before the plums we enjoyed this beautiful blossom.


"Olympic plum" tree
"Olympic plum" tree

We were so excited when the first plums were spotted!


"Olympic plums"
"Olympic plums"

The plums that I had taken the stones from, are called vanillias, here in Greece, I searched the internet to find the English name for them,.

I think they may be Victoria plum but I'm not sure.

If anyone reading this, recognizes what they are, I would be very grateful if you would let me know.

Anyway, as they were planted in 2004 and I wasn't sure of the name, I christened them:

"Olympic Plum"

Subsequently, all other fruit that grew from the pips and stones that I had planted that year was named:

 "Olympic"

"Olympic fig tree"
"Olympic fig tree"

We have had bumper crops of figs every year since the first fruit.

MGG usually picks them and always complained that he became terribly itchy.
I really did think that he was exaggerating, until one year, I picked them.

 He wasn't exaggerating, oh they give an excruciating itch.
This is now known in our family as:

"The Fig Itch"

"Olympic figs
"Olympic figs

I can't show you the apricot or the peach tree, which did grow very well, but died after a few years.

The peach tree formed fruit that never grew very big before dropping off.
 The apricots did a lot better but only gave about ten or so apricots each year , before that tree also finally gave up the ghost.

I come now to the lemon pips.
I am still very sour about those.
(Excuse the pun!)

The lemon pips I had planted did splendidly!

After having them in small pots I transplanted them into the back garden.
They were doing well until their confrontation with MGG

Read about it Here

Another success that I have had, which I must say surprised me, is with bare root rose trees.

From England!

I wanted a little bit of England, in our garden, to remind me of home.

While ordering the "bare root" roses from the internet, I wasn't really hopeful that they would grow.

Would it be too hot here?

Would they survive the journey from England?

I was even less hopeful when they arrived, they just looked like sticks with a few straggly, bare roots, they were here so I planted them.

They grew!

 They grew very well and we have  glorious roses every spring!


Zephirine Drouhin.
Zephirine Drouhin.

Zephrine Drouhin I chose for its deep pink colour and also for the fact that it is thorn less.



Iceberg Rose
Iceberg Rose

"Iceberg "

 I chose this for Yorkshire, where I was born, "The White Rose Of Yorkshire"


New Dawn
New Dawn 

 "New Dawn"

I chose this  for its lovely pale pink color.
Well it looked pale pink in the picture on the internet.
 It's more of a salmon pink, still beautiful though.

Something else that grew from nothing is this gigantic yucca tree.
This was a small pot plant that my Daughter had bought for me over twenty years ago.

 I can't really say that I like yuccas; too spiky.

I prefer flowing, softer plants.

I pulled it from the pot and stuck it in a corner of the garden, just stuck it in, I didn't even dig a hole for it.

It grew:

"The Revenge Of The Yucca"


Yucca
Yucca

Small Yucca
Small Yucca


The huge yucca started out looking something like this!

Succulents  also grow very well from small cuttings.
I have three or four large urns and pots absolutely overflowing with them.

This one I especially like.
I took the tiniest little piece from a plant in one of the parks in Loutraki.


Succulent
Succulent

My next planting of seeds will be from a Cycas Revoluta.

We have had one in our garden for over twenty years, very slow-growing plants.

This year, for the first time, it developed a strange, yellow, large ball.

We had no idea what it was, until my friend H, a great lover of plants and flowers, sent me a picture of the same thing that she had seen in Korinth.

I inspected ours again and saw that the ball was beginning to open, revealing some peculiar pink nodules.

After doing some research, it turns out, our plant is female, the nodules are the fruit.

Cycas Revoluta
Cycas Revoluta

H then sent me another picture of  a Cycas Revoluta that  she had taken in Elevsina.
This shows the fruit opening to show the seeds.

Cycas Revoluta Picture by H
Cycas Revoluta
Picture by H
I shall keep a close eye on our Cycas and hope that I shall be able to collect some seeds.

I'll  keep you posted about the date palms and the strange-looking Cycas Revoluta.

If you like it, why not share it? Thanks!