We were able to sleep in today! We didn’t leave the hotel until 9:00 AM!
We took the subway to Sytagma then strolled through Ancient Athens, up the Acropolis and to the Parthenon.
I had to make a slight adjustment to our Mass. I was asked if the Mass could be a vigil, so of course I was going to make it happen. I just didn’t know it would be so difficult.
I went by the church and spoke with the sacristan. He explained that the church would be closed during the time we wanted to have Mass. They closed from 12:00 to 5:00 for naps or something silly. We wanted Mass at 4:00. Since this is the only Catholic church in Athens, we didn’t have any other options.
When they reopened, there was a 5:30 Mass, a 6:40 rosary and a 7:00 Mass. I did all I could to convince him to reopen early. He wasn’t budging, he had to work across town and could not be back in time. I went to the cleaning lady to see if she could open the church early, he wouldn’t let her. I went to the parish office. No one there could help. I even rang the doorbell to the rectory, but there was no answer. The sacristan must have appreciated my persistence because he made a few calls, even to the Archdiocese, and got permission to reopen 30 minutes early. The one condition is that we had to be done with a Sunday Mass in 30 minutes so they could set up for their 5:30. Success! It only took two hours.
I met back up with the group at the Acropolis, unfortunately I was too late to get into the Parthenon. It’s one of my favorite places and I hated to miss it. But, the group comes first and this was a very special Mass.
We all stopped for lunch, then headed back to the hotel for a quick nap. I had 5 minutes.
Then back out to the Mass. We started 5 minutes early and finished 8 minutes early. This Mass was extra special because all the married couples received a special blessing. It was Marty the Cop’s tenth anniversary and we had several other couples as well.
From here, a bit of free time. I searched for a post dinner bar and found a great one.
Then we had dinner at a lovely place in the shadows of the Acropolis.
Then the toasts. I always love toast night. The highlight for me was when I was toasted by saying that I used to be cool with my blue hair and blue Docs, and now I wear lame travel clothes and need to get back to the coolness. They then presented me with a classic Greek fez hat.
Then it was time for a final opa! I made a deal with the bar and got a nice discount, definitely needed with this group!
After a few drinks we went back to the hotel. Lino and I shared the coolest cab ever. The guy was blasting Muddy Waters while flying through the streets of Athens.
We all got back at midnight and agreed to meet in a room for more drinks. But we had to wear robes for a toga party. The toga party got out of hand and lasted about two hours.