Volos

We arrived in Volos and took a walk around town. The town has walking streets lined with stores. Our hotel here was the nicest of the trip. I decided to do my laundry by hand and hang it on the balcony. As usual, my shorts were on the balcony below the next morning…but I got them back. We got dressed up and went to the synagogue for Shabbat services followed by a Shabbat meal. Before the service, I was talking with a college student named Daniel. He showed me the front of the synagogue and main gate. He explained that they do not use it anymore because of fear of the Golden Dawn party. He also said they used to eat outside, but now only eat indoors. The Golden Dawn was having a rally somewhere in town, so a police officer was stationed outside the gate. The service needed a minion….so we started late as more men arrived. After the service, we were treated to a meal which was very good. We met a survivor. In the service, I noticed his tattoo on his arm….he was motioning to me when to stand and when to sit. We made it home without incident. The Jewish community of Volos was very friendly. The next morning, we hopped on a bus to visit the monasteries in the mountains seen in a James Bond movie. The monastery was beautiful, but we spent most of the day on the buss. After the monastery, we had a debriefing meeting talking about our experiences. The next day, we loaded back in the bus and headed to Triklika. We went to the synagogue which was different because it had not been remodeled. It was in the same state as it was before the war. Our guide was the cousin of Al Negron, one of the Toledo survivors. We then traveled to Al’s house, knocked on the door and got a tour of the home. We then walked around the town. I finally got a spinach pie with feta which was awesome. The town has a river in the center with a river walk which was beautiful. On the other side of the river, all the Greeks were sitting under canopies drinking in the shade. We drove back to Volos. I did an interview for the documentary and went down walking to the river. They have a huge breaker in the dock that you can walk out and look at the waterfront. I went back to the hotel and checked in with the group who said there was live music a couple blocks away. I went to find it, didn’t, and on the way back I stepped in a hole and pulled the muscle in the back of my leg. I doubt I will be doing any more walks on this trip. At least it happened at the end.

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