When we were walking in Kapsala we met a friendly man in the rain. He explained that it was not easy to find the correct road to Stavronikita. He went to get some water in a nearby house.
When he came back he showed where he lived; in an old Russian ruined church. The building was open, it had no windows. He was happy with just a matrass on the floor. He used to be working in the Greek army. Now he worked in the gardens and fields of Mt. Athos from time to time.
Wim made in 2017 posts of the exterior and the interior of the ruined large Russian kellion of St. John Chrysostomos. Now there is a new inhabitant. He prefers the loneliness and the poor conditions there over a bed in one of the houses around. We didn’t dare to stay in the church for long, or go to the next floor, afraid that the walls or parts of the building would collaps. Wim climbed upstairs in 2017 and found the skulls of the previous Russian residents.
Trees, scrub and creepers had taken over the place. This was beyond repair. Not even a sack full of Russian money could restore this settlement. The ruins, the powerful nature, the friendly loner, it made quit an impression on us.
Through a large hole in the wall of the settlement we continued our walk to Stavronikita ( see post 2070) after saying goodbye to our new friend.
Bas Kamps and Herman Voogd