Two pilgrims from Holland just sent me this picture of desperate pilgrims at the Athos border near Ouranopolis, who are trying to get permission to enter the Holy Mountain by land. Today, 5/5/2019, the boats are not allowed to embark from Ouranopolis because of strong winds. The strong winds might also prevent pilgrims to enter the Holy Mountain tomorrow, rumor says…..
Such a pity for pilgrims who planned their pilgrimage a long time ago and who have to adjust their itinerary now!
Wim Voogd, 5/5 10.20 h.
The latest news is that some pilgrims have managed to order a taxi that will take them from the Athos border to Karyes: here is a picture of the lucky pilgrims who passed the border!
When the winds were too strong in dec 2014 the pilgrimsoffce was closed so nobody couldn’t get a Diamonitirion. The entering by land was no option. This probably had changed?
Now it is possible to enter if there is someone picking you up from the border. We were there on 5/5 the day we were going to exit. We tried to find a taxi but no lack. We decided to walk from Vatopediou to the border (estimated 10hours walking). After 4 hours, just after Proto Nero a jeep took 2 of us and after 10 minutes another jeep (coming from Skiti Lakkou) took the rest 3 of us, finally arriving at the border at 2pm (instead of 7pm if we had been walking all the way)
We always played with the idea of walking back to the border from Esfigmenou or Chilandariou (app. 5 hours). But were under the impression that it was not allowed and that the police at the border could refuse to let you pass. Did you have any problems with the police at the border entering the “normal” world?
No problem, just the usual bag check. Not sure if it is possible on “wind free” days, but otherwise permitted (or tolerated). The landscape after the fire is however rather depressing.
Thanks, good to know. We walked from Thebais to Esfigmenou in 2017. Indeed, all the trees and vegetation were destroyed but there were many flowers.