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.
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.
Kaliagra’s tower and the arsanas of Koutloumousiou are described by Wim in 2011 in this weblog post.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The tower of Iviron as Cuville saw it at the end of the Great War in 1918.
Photos and text
- 2044 – a visit to the Mar Saba monastery near Bethlehem
- 2043 – The Holy Mountain today
- 2042 – Mount Athos by Edward Lear: new site
- 2041 – the Cas Oorthuys photo collection from 1957 online
- 2040 – the hike from Konstamonitou to Docheiariou
- 2039 – a short visit to Konstamonitou – 2
- 2038 – a short visit to Konstamonitou – 1
- 2037 – more pictures from 1923 made by Whittemore and Pratt
- 01 Lavra
- 02 Vatopedi
- 03 Iviron
- 04 Chilandariou
- 05 Dionysiou
- 06 Koutloumousiou
- 07 Pantocratoros
- 08 Xiropotamou
- 09 Sografou
- 10 Docheiariou
- 11 Karakallou
- 12 Filotheou
- 13 Simonos Petras
- 14 Paulou
- 15 Stavronikita
- 16 Xenofontos
- 17 Grigoriou
- 18 Esfigmenou
- 19 Panteleimonos
- 20 Konstamonitou
- 20 monasteries in 7 days
- basic information/reservations
- Nea Skiti
- Paleo Monastiro
- Skiti Andreou
- Skiti Anna
- Skiti Lakkou
- Skiti Profitou Eliou
- Timiou Stavrou
- trip 1989
- trip 2007
- trip 2009: Herman's group
- trip 2009: Wim's group
- trip 2011: Herman's group
- trip 2011: Wim's group
- trip 2013
- trip 2014
- trip 2015
- trip 2017
- Trip 2018
- The Holy Mountain today athosweblog.com/2019/03/04/204… 2 weeks ago
- Mount Athos by Edward Lear: a new site with very nice drawings athosweblog.com/2019/03/03/204… 2 weeks ago
- RT @BasilisATH: A view from the window - Aerial shots of Greece. AEGEAN over Chalkidiki - MOUNT ATHOS @aeanairlines @olympic_air_gr @staral… 2 weeks ago
- the Cas Oorthuys photo collection from 1957 online athosweblog.com/2019/02/09/204… 1 month ago
- a short visit to Konstamonitou - 1 athosweblog.com/2019/01/27/203… 1 month ago