All the representatives who are part of the Holy Epistatia, the governement of Athos, with the Protos as their chairman, have their own houses in Karyes. Because the representatives of monasteries have to go to meetings often, they prefered to stay in their Konaki: in the old days there were no roads on Athos and everybody had to travel by foot, mule or boat, so it would take too much time to travel back and forth.
Last year I decided to try to get all the Konaki on photo and my plan almost succeded. First of all, not all of the 20 monasteries have a Konaki in Karyes, because one of them, Koutloumousiou, lies only a 15 minute walk from Karyes. Secondly it appeared that the Konaki of Stavronikita and Simonospetras in North and the ones of Dionysiou, Grigoriou and Lavra in the East, were a little far from the centre of town to visit them this time. This gives me allready one reason to go back! I managed to find 15 Konaki.
I will start with showing you the maps I used:
I coloured the 15 Konaki that I visited blue, and the roads or paths yellow.
I started walking from the bus/car-parking or shop area (large yellow area), taking the road North towards the Konaki of Sografou, number 61.
And even further up the hill, after passing some kelli and their gardens, I found the Konaki of Chilandariou.
The I started walking downhill again towards the centre of Karyes.
Next time more about the other Konaki.