1824 – Coastal towers along the monopati to Iviron (day three, final leg)

4329 stavronikita
We left Stavonikita a bit against our will. We would have loved to stay a candlelit night here. But it was full so we made a reservation for Iviron, the next stop. A last view of the well restored Monastery with its age-old cypress, its terraced vegetable garden and its bougainvillea covered entrance. In the garden grows mostly cabbage. Grapes form a shady tunnel entrance. In the distance the outer world; the island Thassos can be seen.
We followed the up-and-down-monopati along the coast. We were getting tired, coming from Vatoupediou. Going up even the smallest hills gave more and more resistance. Going down, a certain stiffness in the knees reduced speed.
4332 path to Kaliagra
The sturdy tower of Kaliagra became visible on the edge of the landmass. The wind rushed the waves to the beach. The sheer beauty of the scene made us forget our sore feet and knees. It is not surprising that, despite the dark clouds hanging over the holy mountain, many people consider Athos as close as a living man can get to Paradise.
The narrow monopati asks an accurate balance. The splashing azure waves welcome you with pleasure. Sometimes you can read reports of people who disappeared on Athos. This could be a place to vanish into thin air.
4336 Kaliagra tower
Kaliagra’s tower and the arsanas of Koutloumousiou are described by Wim in 2011 in this weblog post.
4338 monopati kaliagra
The approach to the tower from the covered coastal path that leads to a sandy beach. We took a rest at the tower, ate some power bars and drank the last bit of water. It wouldn’t be far to Iviron. Our goal was already in sight. On the beach there was a lot of rubbish, like plastic children’s shoes. All the way from the other world, Thassos. 4347 mountain in clouds
The salted branch in the foreground rested on a cement wall as a gift from a rough sea.
The tower of the arsanas of Iviron, in the background, was the goal for the day. One more stretch to go. That day I would register an all-time high on my step counter: 28.999 steps. We, as travelling pilgrims, enjoy the endurance and physical sacrifices it takes to walk from one to an other Monastery.
4441 arsanas iviron
A very strange storage tower, lead in wood, close to the arsanas of Iviron. In the background Kaliagra’s tower and further away the wonderful Monastery of Stavronikita. 4438 arsanas iviron
Piles of freshly harvested timber lean against the coastal tower of Iviron, waiting to be shipped to the outer world. An important source of income for the monastery of the Iberians. Not the Spaniards or the Portuguese but the Georgians, the second Christian nation. The monastery was founded in the tenth century by a warrior monk called Thornic (Thornikios) and born Grdzelidze. But that is a story for another time.arsanas Iviron Cuville
The tower of Iviron as Cuville saw it at the end of the Great War in 1918.
Photos and text
Bas Kamps

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3 Responses to 1824 – Coastal towers along the monopati to Iviron (day three, final leg)

  1. Sean Surlow says:

    I can’t wait to get out of here and visit there…

  2. Sean Surlow says:

    Very beautiful photographs…thanks for the essay…

  3. gerard koolschijn says:

    Enviable walk, Bas! Nice commentary. Close to paradise indeed.

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