2015 – A drawing of Simonos Petras

In the winter of 2014-2015 Herman and I made a pilgrimage to Athos, with our children, his son Nathan and my sons Martijn and Laurens. It was quite a special trip, that is firmly rooted in our memories. The weather conditions were extreme. The ferry did not go on the first planned day, because of the high waves. We could go on the second day, but then it started to snow. On the first evening we went up from Grigouriou to Simonos Petras. That was the day the colour disappeared from Athos: 1660.My sons Martijn and Laurens on their first trip to Athos in front of Simonos Petras.

I did share my experiences of that special pilgrimage in several posts: i.e. the incredible snowball fight with the monks: 1664, the walk in the deep snow to Dionysiou: 1670 and the coldest night ever in Nea Skiti: 1700. Herman made some nice films: see for instance: 1658(Dionysiou – Paulou) and 1659 (entering Dionysiou).

All these memories came back, after seeing a drawing that Laurens – my youngest son – made of Simonos Petras. From the same low perspective we saw it back then,  three and a half years ago. The original drawing will be for sale next Sunday on the Museum Market in Amsterdam.


Bas Kamps

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2014 – Doors and windows by Theodosios Simonopetritis

As a reaction on posts 2011 and 2012 where I showed photo’s of doors and windows, monk and photographer Theodosios Simonopetritis mailed us a very nice collection of doors and windows made by himself. Here the doors of the wine cellar of Zografou in 2005.
A door in the Romanian skiti of Prodromou by Theodosios Simonopetritis who is a permanent resident of Simonos Petras monastery.A iron door in a house in Karyes in 2003.The entrance with the green door of the large church in Old Rossikon (Paleo Monastiro) in 2005 before the renovation. The upper level of the tower of Morfonu (Amalfi) in 2006 with bricked windows.An abandoned Russian house in Karyes in 2006.Windows at the arsanas of Prodromou in 2004.The light falls in, a window at Prodromou in 2006.Probably the same windows as above in Prodromou in 2004.The wooden chapel at Old Rossikon (Paleo Monastiro) in 2005. 
The same Russian building.

All photographs by Theodosios Simonopetritis. Many thanks for sharing them with us.

Herman Voogd

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2013 – A very nice drone film of the top of Mount Athos

Herman Voogd

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2012 – Windows

The most beautiful windows on Athos are those who are in a bad condition. Such as here in Skite Andreou. With natural plants on the windowsill.The torn curtains behind this window in Andreou create a spooky atmosphere. 
But it can be worse. This window is in one of the ruined workmen houses a little below  Sografou.These are the windows of the church of the Russian settlement of Chromitsa near the border.This window with the rusted frame is from a abandoned house uphill Lavra.This is already a dated picture because this Pantaleimonos building in since 2016 completely renovated. Roof, walls, glass everything is as new.Two windows of a, almost ruined,  chapel next to Sografou.The colored church wall of Gregoriou with the Panagia in mosaicThe beautiful colours of Marouda.

Herman Voogd

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2011 – Doors

There are different types of doors to admire on the Holy Mountain. The important monastery main gate doors such as this one from Konstamonitou monastery who will be closed after the sun is set.
A small rusted door at Koutloumousiou.
An old iron door in one of the small streets of Karyes.
A door in Esfigmenou.This wooden door leads to the backyard of the bakery in Karyes.The church doors of Paleo Monastir0 (old Rossikon) in 2011 before the renovations.Painters such as the famous Spyros Papaloukas were inspired by the doors of Mount Athos. This is the maingate of Simonas Petras. With on the right, the so called, Red Balcony.  Recently this entrance was completely changed. Much to my regret.

Herman Voogd

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2010 – The main entrance of Xeropotamou

This is the main entrance of Xeropotamou in 1853. Probably one of the oldest photographs of this monastery. It was made by Ernest de Caranza and artist Emile Charles Labbé. See other posts in this blog about their collection of early photo’s.This is what the entrance looks like today (2013). The blue 2nd floor seems a little higher then in 1853 if you compare it with the position of the rounds windows on the right wall. Not that much has changed in 160 years , though.

Herman Voogd

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2009 – Trees on the mountain slope between Chairi Pass and Stavros

In 2017 we walked around the mountain from Megistis Lavras monastery via Katounakia to Nea Skiti (not on this map by Peter Howorth but located between Sk. Anna and Paulou monastery). It took us the whole day, no roads only very nice footpaths.  First from Lavra to the Chairi Pass (S) at app. 400 meters.At point (R) on the map we took the higher path in the direction of Kerasia. The lower path, on the left of the picture,  is also very worthwhile and goes to house of Nelios (the map says Vasiliou,  but thats wrong) and the little village of Kavsokalivia.
The path is on, the sometimes steep,  south slope of the mountain itself. Occasionally rocks will fall from the mountain. This one got stuck between two trees.The trees alongside the path have the strangest forms.Slowly the paths will reach a height of 7oo meters. The impression is more of a walk through an old forest then a walk on a mountain slope. There is a lot of shadow and on both sides of the path are trees. At some point there is a kind of secret path (not on any map) downhill  to Kavsokalivia which we saw a monk take but we were to late to photograph him sitting on his mule. It was the only encounter we had on this part of the path.
The signs are helpful but is almost impossible to get lost.  
The trees become even more spectacular. Most of them are oak trees.Then we reached the point Stavros where we rested for a while. Here the only path to the top of the mountain starts. But we went down, a very steep descent to Katounakia. See also the post of fellow traveller Bas Kamps.

Herman Voogd

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