Almost every visitor to the Holy Mountain starts the pilgrimage from the small town Ouranopolis, where your Diamoniterion (passport) is handed over.
This movie from Oktober 2009 showes the other way to enter the Garden of the Virgin: by boat from Ierissos. The boat leaves from Ierissos at 08:35, arriving at Lavra at 10:30. On your way back the boat departs from Lavra at 10:40, arriving in Ierissos at 13:00 (book for reservations: 23770-71149,21041).
In this movie you can see the monasteries Esfigmenou, Vatopediou, Pantocratoros, Stavronikita and Iviron. The maker of this film arrives at an unknown kellion (5:05), probably near Skiti Lakkou. The palm trees in the garden are specific, but also the (white) cats with their special tails attract attention.
The film is not of high quality, but showes Athos from a different angle, accompanied by relaxing music.
XPICTOC ANECTH! (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paschal_greeting )
The “hand” at 3a is actually a triple ray, symbolising the All-Holy Trinity which descended on the Theotokos. Sometimes there is a pigeon in the middle, symbolising the Holty Spirit who came over her. More info (including the translations of the quoted Bible texts) @ http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints_view?contentid=471
Unfortunately the boot doesn’t sail very often because of the strong wind on the East coast. We tried to fix a trip from Pantocrator to Iviron but the captain would not sail because of the wind so had took a taxi.