903 – 2009 trip to Athos: the day before

Only two years after my last journey to the Holy Mountain I was able to pay another visit in September (27-30) this year. It was my 6th trip to the Holy Mountain, the first dates from 1980. My aim was to visit some unknown places, which succeeded quite well and I will show you this in the coming months.
Our group of 7 pilgrims split up in two, but the first day we walked/travelled together. That’s why there will be some overlap of information and pictures. To make the difference between both groups visible I will start my blogs with WG (Wim’s Group). The group consisted of Peter and Winfried (both their first visit), Jitze (second time) and me.

Useally Athos-visitors who like to walk, hike to the Athos-border on the day before they enter. There you will find some buildings belonging to the Holy Mountain (Chilandariou?). They are partly in ruin and until recently you could meet a happy and lonely monk who was willing to make a conversation, but now the place is inhabited by Greek police.
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The new fence keeps on going, right into the sea:
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And inland the new border-fence is easy to follow (probably all the way to the other side near Nea Roda ( about 8 km).
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The olives were allmost ready to harvest
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near the excavations of the old monastary called Zygou

where I saw this newly excavated stone: with an olive(?) branch, two doves and a cross on it:
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The gate to Mount Athos did not open for us, because we could not visit the vineyards of Chromitsa/Tsantali this time, dispite friendly efforts of ms. Despina Peristeraki.

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“Very disappointed” we drank away our distress with a good glass of white wine called Kormilitsa from the Chromitsa vineyards, the house wine of the Russian rulers at the Kremlin (which you cannot buy in Ouranopolis shops, why not mr Tsantalis?):

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And this is the group that – after a good meal and drink – was ready for the great day of tomorrow, the 27th of September 2009:
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from left to right: Jaap, Jitze, Herman, Wim, Winfried, Bas (Mick Jagger) and Peter

Wim Voogd, 25/10

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