The nuns have a service from 04:30 to 06:30 which we would like to catch some of...some that is ;) This little pilgrim isn't getting out of bed at 04:00 :)
But 05:45 is OK and I'm impressed that we get it together! We are seated in the church by 06:15 and it is well worth it. The service is great, once again with a lot of singing and with the birds still chirping outside it's magical.
Sister Gregoria meets us for breakfast and is happy to chat away while we eat. The meal is wonderful and we find out most of the produce is made right here in the Monastery. The other interesting thing we find out is that all the nuns of this order have to have University degrees. Pretty cool!
Their generosity is awesome, not only have the nuns provided us with two meals and a roof over our head, but as we go to leave we get given a bag with about 5kgs of food! Home-made biscuits, bread, chocolate and more. We can't express our thanks enough. I love Greece :)
So with full bellies and in wonderful spirits we leave to make the remaining 15kms to Alexandroupolis,. It is still early and not yet hot so we make great time.
As we are passing through Nea Chilli I hear...
Looking to the side I see a car pull up...
"Are you Ben?"
I must have forgotten something at the monastery. "Yes"
"Hi, it's Christos from Couchsurfing!"
It turns out the guy that has just pulled up is the person we are hoping to stay with tonight, 10kms the other side of Alexandroupolis,! What luck!
He eagerly offers us a lift to his house and I explain that I have to walk. But for Sabine it is an offer too good to refuse. The walk into cities is never any fun so she jumps in and I tell them I will see them in a few hours :)
Twenty meters down the road a guy comes out of a bakery and calls me over...
"Where are you from" (Said in Greek but I've started to get the idea)
"Aaaahhhhhh!!!! Australia! Australia!" He grabs me by the hand and drags me back in to the bakery...
It turns out his cousin is inside and is actually an Australian citizen, but now lives here. He explains that they were just discussing life back in Australia when they saw me, hence the guys enthusiasm. We have a good chat and the guy who can't speak english buys me a coffee. Great people!
I make it into Alexandroupolis and head straight for the internet. It's been a while and I'm behind with everything! By 13:00 I decide to make a move, there is still 11kms to go...
The walk out of town is typical industrial area, it's boring and hot! Not much fun at all, so I just stick my head down, bum up and slog it out. Not stopping for a rest I make it to Antheia by 15:00. Two minutes after arriving in to town Christous pulls up. He was on his way to check where I was up too...great timing again!!!
Christos and Georgia live in a great little apartment with ocean views, four cats and 12 kittens!!! (So if you are in need of a cat let me know ;) ) Makes it a very entertaining house. The other entertaining thing is that Christos sings in a black metal band called Crossover. They seem to have quite a decent following around Europe and regularly tour.
And that's one of the great things of being open to whatever the universe is offering...one night we are staying with the nuns in a monastery, the next staying in an apartment with pentagrams and upsidedown crosses on the wall :) I love life!!!
They are both perfect hosts, a couple of hours after meeting us they are comfortable enough to give us the keys to their apartment as they go to work. Wonderful people :)
After a great dinner in a local restaurant our hosts return to go out for a bit of a drink...it is friday night after all ;)