I got the boat to the Simonos Petra landing. A merchant in Daphni gave me a bag of fish to bring along and a letter. Fortunately, he said to leave the fish at the dock. The climb, over a thousand feet straight up in the noonday sun, with my bag on my shoulder, was a real workout – purgatory on the way to heaven.
The monastery itself is quite cool, catching the mountain breezes. It is very well kept. I received a cheerful welcome from the guest-master, Father Theologos, and was given a room that looks out on the courtyard and the katholikon, the main church of the monastery. I hope I will be able to stay here. Silence reigns here except for the birds, the wind and the water.
Contemplative silence described in O Holy Mountain! – Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos by Fr. M. Basil Pennington (1931 -2005), who was a Trappist monk at St. Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts, as well as a spiritual writer and teacher.
Fr. Basil Pennington’s book O Holy Mountain! is out of print. But it appears to have been republished under the torturous title, The Monks of Mount Athos: A Western Monk’s Extraordinary Spiritual Journey on Eastern Holy Ground.
See also nr. 471. More parts of this book here. Thanks to On an overgrown path