After a jam packed and exciting weekend at the 9th International Convention of the World Council of Cretans, the Pancretan Association of Melbourne continued their tour of Crete, visiting Rethymno.
The famous Λαογραφικός Όμιλος ΚΟΥΡΗΤΕΣ from Crete who were sponsored by the Pancretan Association of Melbourne and had the opportunity to visit Melbourne in 2016, hosted the historical and interesting activities for the day.
In the morning, the group visited Aetoudakio Park, where they saw a tree which is dedicated to the Cretans in Australia. There they met with a well respected man of the Cretan community, Dimitris Aetoudakis who explained the history of the area and gave an interesting tour of the trees and fauna which have been planted by individuals/associations worldwide.
After absorbing lots of interesting information, the group was treated to a traditional Cretan breakfast, including delicious kalitsounia (Cretan cheese pies) and cake, which everyone enjoyed eating in a peaceful environment.
Following, the educational tour visited Ιερός Ναός Μεταμορφώσεως του Σωτήρος. There they were welcomed with open arms by the community and venerated the icon of Άγιος Νικηφόρος Φωκας. This church visit was special as it holds one of the two icons of Άγιος Νικηφόρος Φωκας, where the original icon is located in Melbourne, Australia.
The final stop for the day was to one of the most historical monasteries in Crete, Arkadi Monastery.
Arkadi Monastery played an active role in the Cretan resistance of Ottoman rule during the Cretan revolt in 1866. The sacrifice of the people living and dying there, has turned the Arkadi Monastery into one of Europe’s Monuments to Freedom.
The group was given an informative and historical tour of the monastery by Αρχιμανδρίτης Διονύσιος Ψαρουδάκης, who also held a trisagion service for the 943 Greeks who died.
Representing Λαογραφικός Όμιλος ΚΟΥΡΗΤΕΣ, Giorgos Pattakos expressed his excitement that he had the opportunity to welcome and host friends from the Pancretans in Melbourne from his visit in 2016. It was a beautiful day thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.