The beautiful coastal path from Stavronikita to Pantocratoros starts with a view on the slated roofs of service buildings in front of the actual monastery. In my opinion this is a fascinating perspective. A manmade stone world with an ancient cypress as a natural contrast.
Looking back to Stavronikita. This part of the monopati is secluded. The path is covered by trees. From a birds eye perspective you wouldn’t notice a trail. The ground is humid and scattered with dead leaves. It is an extremely pleasant walk. The path rises and falls gently in a pleasant rhythm. The monopati follows mainly the coastal line. The rain had stopped and we dried up slowly. A branch delivered its collected water it had kept just until we passed by.
Only at a few spots the dense foliage opens up for a view. The summit of the Holy Mountain was still embraced by clouds. A long string of clouds rose slowly behind a hill.
A more detailed look at Stavronikita from Pantocratoros. The picture was shot with a tele lens. The enormous efforts to save the monastery are clearly visible. It was built on a rock formation that became unstable after the earthquake of 1905. We wrote about this before: “Heavy reinforcements are made just under the building in the rocks to withstand the elements. These structures were built because a series of earthquakes severely damaged the rock on which the monastery was erected. There were serious concerns about the stability of the structure. It could fall off the cliff. The heavy earthquake of 1905, 7,5 on the Richter scale, of which the epicentre lay close to Stavronikita under the sea, is described by Herman in this blog.”
An interesting leaflet about the restauration of the tower and the western wing is available via internet. This is a page from the book.
The mayor restauration on the foundation was executed by the Center for the Preservation of Athonite Heritage, a Greek government organisation, based in Thessaloniki. Via the Waybackmachine, an internet archive, I found some information on the restauration.