Quite contrary to my normal habits I woke up very early. It was still night and pitch dark. I didn’t want to disturb my sleeping fellow pilgrims so I went outside very quietly. We were in the new guest building, that is situated just outside of the monastery.
There was complete silence. No wind. No moon. No stars. Nobody there.
The gate towards the monastery was still closed, so I could not get in. Two immense iron doors kept the gate closed. I was locked-out. The three ascending windows light the corridor to the actual stronghold.
The little fence reminded me of the story Herman wrote about the lost red balcony. It is still not brought back to what is once was.
The entrance of Simonos Petras in 1917. The hanging grapes are gone as is the red brickstone balcony. A lot of work has been done the recent years.
We see the gate down to the arsanas and the fundaments of the aqueduct. The history of the building can be read in the stones, and all the half circles that probably once formed bows to carry the water to the main building.
A little more zoomed out we see on the bottom left of the picture a blacklight to kill the flies at the shop. And the open bows of the aqueduct appear in the zoomed out picture.
A closer look at the main building. The three windows are the same ones as mentioned before. Note the open goods lift. It was already there in the 1917 picture. It leads right to the level of the katholikon.
The little building in front is new. It contains an elevator for the handicapped to the new extensions under the plateau.
I strolled through the gate towards the arsanas. Looking back I saw the six crescents of the aqueduct.
This will probably finish the extensive photoblog of the 2019 pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain. The series started a little bit more than a year ago with the blog “Mysterious mist in Karyes” (post 2047). It was a pleasure to take you along the highlights of our 2019 pilgrimage. All my 2019 stories: click here.
Let’s hope that in the near future it will be possible again to visit the Holy Mountain. It was my intention to give a hand to the Friends of Mount Athos this spring in clearing the paths as a volonteer. That shall have to wait for an other time. Meanwhile nature will overgrow the monopatia.