The first stretch of the monopati is densely forested. The small trees enclose the outside world with abundant foliage. A drizzle found its way through the leaves. There are many traces of wild boar along the path. The marks of a restless search for food underground. On both sides of the stone path the soil is churned for miles. After 3,5 kilometres the monopati hits a dirt road. The path ends there and the landscape opens up. In the distance the Milutin tower, close to the arsanas of Hilandariou can be seen. According to the legend the tower was build “by a Serbian queen at the nearest point to her son’s monastery so that from the top of it she could gaze in the direction of Chilandar”, as J.J. Norwich explains. The tower was built in the middle of the thirteenth century and named after a famous Serbian King: Stephen Uroš II Milutin (1281-1321). Pilgrim Wim took a closer look at the tower in 2013.The landscape changes walking down from 300 meters to sea level. The vegetation changes as well. Instead of lower deciduous trees there are pine trees all over. In the distance the uninhabited peninsula of Arapis or Petrovouni appears, which is a still part of Athos. Behind that the Greek main land can be seen.The last stretch of the hike to Chilandariou is again a wonderful monopati. The millennium of foot and donkey traffic eroded the path. It simply sank away. Sometimes it is as if you walk between walls.And then at last after about ten kilometres from Zougrafou the tower of Chilandariou appears. We first went to the guesthouse. The quest house is situated outside the main gate just under the dirt road. It was loaded with pilgrims in a cave like room on the ground floor. We received a warm, traditional welcome; loukoumi, water, tsipourou and coffee. It was so busy that the monks didn’t have time to talk to the pilgrims. Nevertheless one of them found time to correct one of us. He was crossing his legs.The outside wall of the monastery has a couple of covered balconies in a bright blue colour. The next time we will explore the inside of Chilandariou that has been burned so badly in 2004.