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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ex Votos

When I was first in Athens I visited the
Flea Market in Monastiraki but I found
mostly sneakers and souvenirs and I love
nothing more than sifting through old junk
so we left and moved on to other sites.
But while hiking on Santorini with Aditya,
he told me I didn't go far enough in to find
the old stuff.

So on a layover in Athens we hopped back into
the city to do a bit more exploring.  Aditya was
right!  Too bad I had time limits and baggage
weight restrictions or I could have gone wild here.

Why didn't I buy that clock face and some
of those keys?  I did score one of those
terracotta heads that are on the edges of
the roofs on every building in Athens. 
As the airport security guy examined it
in Amsterdam, he had to take it around
to all his co-workers for show & tell.
I weighs a ton...

And then I met Achilles and his basket of
ex votos.  In so many of the churches I
visit in Europe I have seen these, along with
watches, rings, crutches, eyeglasses.  Ex
votos are a votive offering often given in
gratitude or devotion or in fulfillment of a
vow.  They are placed in a church or chapel
where one wants to give thanks.  Pilgrimage
destinations will often have a shrine decorated
with ex votos.  I bought a boy and a girl, a house,
one for marriage, one for eyes, and one with
Greek writing that Achilles told me what it meant
but I can't remember what it is.  If anyone can
help, please let me know.

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