Please note that the dates for these tours may vary from the guide below. No tours will be offered until international borders are open.
We decided to start a little earlier as we knew we had much to do today. Once again we headed north and at the end of the day we finished in Florina, close to the northern border. All the rivers that we saw on the way were running very well and the main tributary of the Aliakman River was no exception.
Our first stop was at Xinon Nero, just before the start of the Kilive Pass and where the 2/4th Battalion had embussed following the battle of Vevi. A small Service was conducted and James read a prayer before David, Nicci and Russell laid Poppies at the memorial. The last Post and Reveille followed. David's Father was here at the battle as a signaller attached to Brigade Headquarters. We then pushed on and arrived at Vevi at 1200 and at the Memorial in the village we conducted a small Service where Russell and James laid Poppies while Gavin recited the prayer of Remembrance
After our Service in Vevi we visited the Church of St George in a nearby village where our friend Anna's father is the Priest. The Saint for the Church is Saint Cosmas who was killed by the Ottomans because he would not stop his teaching to the people of the area. The Ottomans did not wish the Greek peasants to get an education. Frescos of Saint Cosmas adorn the walls of the Church.
Then off to the village of Sitaria, Anna's village, where we had lunch in the community hall. The lunch was delicious and so after a couple of toasts with the local type ouzo. Again the Priest would not accept any payment so we put together a donation for the Church. After lunch we walked through the village and viewed 2 Churches, the one near the Community Hall and the other, the oldest built in the 14th Century.
We said goodbye and headed out to the Battlefields around Vevi. Stopping on the high Ground forward of the village we discussed the fight that took place there 77 years ago. Heading back through the village we noticed that the wreath and flag were missing. So, putting in place our Poirot hats we started an investigation. Firstly Elena started talking to a man who we were later to believe was head of the Community Council. He made a couple of calls while Tassos and our recovery team worked on recovery orders. Tassos sniffed out that a young boy had removed the Wreath and Flag and he then proceeded to the home where the boy resided and after knocking at the door, a lady answered and following intense questioning from Tassos, it was established that the Wreath was there. Great detective work.
While this was going on, the Head of the Community Council presented his staff to Graham and supported us as we convinced the Lady to keep the wreath and to give it to the school. The Lady promised to return the Wreath and Flag to the School. All is well that ends well and we returned to the battlefield area to discuss the withdrawal off the position. Fortunately, we were able to arrange an appointment to visit the Bishop. Our visit went well and we were given the red eggs to take part in the highly skilled competition associated with the Red eggs. The Bishop won his event and then we said goodbye and headed home for dinner. An unbelievable day and I suppose, more to follow.