On Sunday September 20th 2015 a special occasion took place. After entering the beautiful courtyard of Maroudá we received a warm welcome by father Makarios. My Athos friend Jan Paul ten Bruggencate took this picture in 2011. “Jan Paul is still asleep, doing an afternoon nap”, father Makarios told me. He invited us in and asked us to have a drink.While looking around and enjoying the view of the well kept buildings and gardens of kelli Maroudá, suddenly an unknown person came to me and shook hands. “Hello”, he said, and he hucked me as if we were old friends, “I am Giannis!” After a few seconds I realized who this ‘stranger’ was: my fellow blogger and friend from Greece, Giannis Koutsiotis, the author of the famous weblog Agioritikes Mnimes ! I have had lots of contact in written word during many years, but now finally we met in person. What a surprize and what a happy meeting, it felt as we knew each other already for years!
My friends and I were invited to sit and have drink. In the meanwhile Jan Paul woke up and the second happy meeting was about to occur: also with Jan Paul I have had many contacts by telephone and email in the past years, but I never met him in person! The meeting with Jan Paul, who woke up earlier to meet me! We went outside to enjoy the view from a balcony. Jan Paul meets pilgrim Gert JanThe view from the balcony of Maroudá, with skiti Andreou in the backgroundSkiti Andreou seen from Maroudá Jan Paul and me,dicussing the different settlements lying belowA good conversation, a cup of coffee and water, a beautiful view and good friends, do you need more? While chatting and enjoying good company the cook of Father Makarios prepaired a meal for us:Without any doubt one the best meals I ever had on the Holy Mountain: a slightly fat white fish with a lovely soup, red wine and bread – together with pilgrims Gert Jan and Jitze (in a great trapeza with fine paintings). The kitchen of Maroudá
Next time some more pictures of the fine paintings in the trapeza (photos: Jitze Bakker and mine)
Wim Voogd, 12/1/2016