Athens / Messolonghi Orthodox Easter 2019 20th April - 3rd May
Athens / Messolonghi Orthodox Easter 2019 20th April - 3rd May
Spending Easter in Greece is a must for everyone’s bucket list. It can be a spiritual experience as well as a photogenic one as the locals observe the religious rituals representing the pathos of Christ to his resurrection on Holy Saturday Midnight.
You will take images of the cities in their finest moments shrouded in candle light. Easter Sunday is the centre piece of the Orthodox celebrations ending with a meat feast, red eggs and lamb on the spit.
What's included? Accommodation, breakfast and workshops. This includes daily workshops, as well as post production and photo critique sessions in the evenings.
What's not included? Flights, lunch and dinner. You'll also need to provide your own camera and all other related gear.
11 nights, 12 days.
Friday 30th March
Arrive in Athens to unwind and settle in. A chance to get to know each other and then a tour of the picturesque centre of Athens taking in famous and photogenic areas such as Plaka, Monastiraki and of course the Acropolis!
Dinner at the hotel.
Saturday 31st March
Early start to Messolonghi in time to shoot the Exodus of Messolonghi procession. Then Lunch, chill out at hotel and then dinner and getting to know each other.
Sunday 1st April (Palm Sunday)
A look inside some of the orthodox churches to experience the palm Sunday festivities.
Fish lunch in the centre of Messolonghi. Special fish dishes to keep you going through the last week of fasting (known as Passion week) until Easter Sunday.
Each night of Passion week the churches have a series of services known as bride groom services, so we will be exploring and photographing many different churches and monasteries to experience this in full.
Monday 2nd April
In the morning we will be taking a boat trip to explore the lagoons that dominate the landscape and are such an integral part of life here. This is a chance to photograph the incredibly diverse bird life that inhabits the area, and to see the lagoons from the perspective of the fishermen who have worked these waters for countless generations.
Back to Messolonghi for lunch.
In the afternoon we will be changing our mode of transport and renting bicycles to ride out to the island of Tourlida to photograph the traditional wooden fishermen’s houses called pellades which stand up on stilts above the surface of the water.
Evening visit to monastery for another bride groom service.
Tuesday 3rd April
We take a drive along a beautiful scenic route that includes the archaeological site at Plevrona. On a hill on the northwest side of Messolonghi a big part of the 3-kilometre long walls of Ancient Plevrona are still kept in a very good condition. And specifically, of the New Ancient Plevrona also known as Castle of Kira Rini (Lady Rini). In this impressive archaeological site you will have the chance to see a huge, natural 6-metre tall stone tank, part of the market, the ancient road and a wonderful ancient theatre with the great panoramic view of the sea on west of Messolonghi.
We will see the island of Aetoliko. This tiny land mass is one of the most densely populated areas of Greece with a maze of ramshackle streets and houses to photograph and plenty of local life.
Afterwards we’ll visit the salt flats or “alykes”. These are the largest saltpans in operation in Greece. Salt has played a crucial role in the history of civilization and in Greece. In fact, in ancient Greece it was used as a commodity for trading slaves. It is said that the time held expression of “not worth his salt” came from this practice. Also, in ancient times, most civilizations were accompanied by myths, religious and magic rites involving salt and Greece was no exception. With tales of its usage during sacrifices and religious rituals, the history of salt is as exotic as is the amazing alykes, or salt marsh gardens that extend for miles on end in Messolonghi, Greece.
Salt has played a crucial role in the history of civilization and in Greece. In fact, in ancient Greeceit was used as a commodity for trading slaves. It is said that the time held expression of “not worth his salt” came from this practice. Also, in ancient times, most civilizations were accompanied by myths, religious and magic rites involving salt and Greece was no exception. With tales of its usage during sacrifices and religious rituals, the history of salt is as exotic as is the amazing alykes, or salt marsh gardens that extend for miles on end in Messolonghi, Greece.
After dinner we will be doing a photo critique to give everyone a chance to get personalised feedback on their photographic results so far and have homework to work on too.
Wednesday 4th April
Road trip to the traditional village of Katochi where we will admire the banks of the river Acheloos and then head into the wild and rugged landscape of Dioni in the far Western Greece. Stopping on the way to our friend Christos to get a glimpse into traditional life in a pellades complete with traditional Greek hospitality.
Wednesday is the last supper service.
Thursday 5th April
Sunrise photography at Tourlida
Free time to recover and have breakfast.
Flamingo photography on the other side of town if we get lucky. Patience is a virtue!
Lunch in town.
Free program in the afternoon.
Meet at 7pm at the cathedral to see one of the bride groom services that represents of the crucifixion of Christ.
Friday 6th April - Good Friday
Workshop on post production in the morning.
Meet at 12 to go from church to church to photograph the epitaphs. Each church competes to have the most beautiful , decorated with flowers over night by the young ladies of the town.
Lunch. Good Friday is traditionally a day for strict fasting to commemorate Christ asking for water when he was on the cross and they gave him vinegar. We, on the other hand may indulge in something a little more substantial!
In the evening we will follow and photograph the procession which is very beautiful and atmospheric and one of the most important of the week’s services with some especially beautiful hymns, commemorations and ceremonials.
Saturday 7th April
After a later start the morning to recover from the night before, we will be doing a location portrait photography workshop. Taking advantage of the many visually stunning backdrops that Messolonghi has to offer and teaching you about expression, posing, lighting and more.
An afternoon photo critique will give you a chance to reflect on the images you have made so far on the trip and provide direction for future improvement.
We will have a dinner together then you are free until midnight.
Midnight is the resurrection which is very dramatic with fireworks at the church. Everyone goes with a candle and the priest gives you holy light which is very photogenic.
Sunday 8th April. Easter Sunday.
Christ Has Risen!
With lamb cooked on the spit and red painted eggs, you will experience and photograph how Easter is spent the traditional Greek way with the family.
Monday 9th April
Drive back to Athens
Morning to pack up, a leisurely lunch en route as we travel back to Athens
Goodbye dinner at the hotel and some free time in Athens for those that want to have a final wonder.
Sunset and Dinner at the hotel
Tuesday 10th April
Final goodbyes and flights home.