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Mt Athos visit in November


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#1 Michael M.S.

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 12:33 AM

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forums (but have been reading them for years) and am a Coptic Orthodox Christian from Australia.

Godwilling, I plan to visit Mt Athos in the last week of November.

I just had a few questions as I know a few people on this site have had the blessings of visiting the Holy Mountain.

1:How is the weather in late november.

2: How easy is it for me being an Oriental Orthodox Christian to get an extension in Kayres for a few more days.

3: Which monasteries would be most welcoming to a Coptic Christian?

4: Any advice for how much things to take and anything to take that ussually wont cross someones mind.

5: Any other tips.

Thanks for your help.

In Christ

Michael

#2 Paul Cowan

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 01:25 AM

Michael,

First, you might want to use the search feature for all these questions.

Second: This is the time frame I went in 2007. There were relatively few pilgrims at this time so it was nothing like the summer busy season. It was rainy the day I arrived and the day i left. It was beautiful weather otherwise, but windy. I was stuck in Ournapoulis an extra night due to high seas and I missed getting snowed in by 1 day when I left.
I am Orthodox and was allowed a 5 day extension due I believe to the slow season but becuase I put all my hope in teh the Theotokos and the Forerunner.
ALl monasteries will accept you as a pilgrim.
Don't take alot. I sweated a ton becuase it was cold wind and I had a nonbreathable jacket. I had a back pack full of clothes and stuff I never used I thought I might. I wish I had more room for momentos.
Tips? leave plenty as they are not going to charge you for room and board. Take pictures with a camera that has batteries. Ugh!

Like I said, use the search feature. Go to Friends of Mount Athos website and PM me if you like.

Paul

#3 Michael M.S.

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 10:17 AM

Thanks Paul,

I was thinking of going from Daphne to Kayres, getting an extension then going to Ivirion and philotheu and spending a night at each God willing. But after these two monasteries I wanted to go to the other side of the islands and possible start from Agia Anna skete and work my way to simonopetra then go to daphne to depart.

Does anyone know the best way to get from Philotheu to the other side as it seems like a really really long walk?

Thanks

#4 Paul Cowan

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 01:32 AM

It is a very very long walk. Unless you are in great shape and can travel the distance of the penninsula in a day, you might want to consider going back to Daphne and heading south to Simonpetra first rather then the other way around. You can always take the boat from St. Ann's back to Daphne then to the mainland.

The boats don't go around the horn so you have to find a way over the crest of the mountain. Do you have your map yet? Where did you get it from if so?

Paul

#5 Michael M.S.

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 04:50 AM

I just googled maps and looked at the general location of the monasteries, I plan to buy one from Ouranopolis when I get there.

Just wondering if there is regular affordable transport between monasteries and also to kayres and daphne.

Isnt there also a boat that goes around all the monasteries?

Michael

#6 Paul Cowan

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 01:43 PM

It may be too short a time frame, but if you can get this map from Mr. Zwerger you will have a better time of it than some that are for sale elsewhere. HIs daughter actually is the one who cooresponded with me and she said he was getting old and did not know how much longer he would be doing the maps.

Affordable is relative. For those that "can't" walk the distance they are "affordable", the taxis do run between monasteries but they only come once or maybe twice a day and some require you to reserve your seat with the guestmaster. Between Karyes and Daphne there are 2 large busses that also run twice a day when the boats dock.

As far as boats, yes and no. Each side of the mountain has its own large boats. The east side has more rough waters and rides are fewer in number. They also have "fast boats" which travel more frequesntly between the monasteries, but are still limited in the times they make runs due to seas and the shear distance and how far you can go in a day's time. The two sides of the mountain have no travel between them on the seas.

There is a large ferry from OUrnapolis to Daphne twice a day. Then there is a mid sized ferry that goes from Daphne down to St. Anns Skete. The larger ferry stops at all the monasteries before Daphne.

Then there are the police boats patroling the coast line, but you of course will not get a lift on one of these unless you are breaking the law.

Paul

#7 David R.

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:20 PM

Mr. Zwerger is deceased from what I have read on the internet. I too was interested in obtaning a copy of his map.

#8 Albion

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 07:50 PM

Anyone ever been in late February? It looks like that's when I will be making my first pilgrimage. I would imagine the weather will be less than pleasant, and the seas less than glassy.

#9 Paul Cowan

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:41 AM

From what I was told, if the boats dont' "run", you don't get on the mountain. A little monopoly thing they got going on there.

#10 Michael Stickles

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 01:54 PM

Mr. Zwerger is deceased from what I have read on the internet. I too was interested in obtaning a copy of his map.


I found a note online that his daughter now distributes his maps; her address and phone are included in the posting, as is a note on the cost.

#11 Paul Cowan

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 03:16 AM

What sad news on his passing. Memory eternal.

#12 David R.

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 05:26 PM

Thank you, Michael!

#13 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 03:23 AM

From what I was told, if the boats dont' "run", you don't get on the mountain. A little monopoly thing they got going on there.


You don't get ON, as well as you don't get OFF. It is a double-edged monopoly.

Because of this, although you reserve a specific date to enter the mountain, you may have to wait a day or more to enter, as well as you may have to wait a day or more to leave, regarding your planned departure date. Speaking of probabilities, most of the time boats run well, but these are things that can happen. Don't book a plane the same day you are supposed to leave, because you are highly playing chances there.

#14 Albion

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 08:55 PM

Well, it's beginning to look as if I'm going to make my first trip in early February. I hope the seas aren't too rough.

#15 Paul Cowan

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 04:16 AM

I would imagine you will have the mountain mostly to yourself. Dress warmly as I hear the snow is unforgiving. Oh, and watch your step if you are on any balconies. It's a long way down to the ground.

Paul

#16 Albion

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:01 PM

Paul, with the vertigo I suffer, I don't think I'd venture out on one of those balconies on a hot, dry summer day.

#17 Michael M.S.

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 03:12 PM

Just returned form the holy mountain.

I spent 6 nights and really enjoyed my time there.

I spent 2 nights at Vatopedi and got to attend the all night vigil for St John Chrysostom, then 1 night in Ivirion, 1 night in Karakallou, 1 night in Simonopetra and 1 night in a Kelli at the Skete of St Anne.

As a Coptic Orthodox member, I found it awesome to be allowed to stand right at the front on all the monasteries apart from Karakallou where I had to stand in the exo-narthex were I couldn't see or hear anything.

Overall I highly recommend anyone who hasnt been to go, it is a great blessing.

#18 Paul Cowan

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 04:31 AM

Can't wait to hear your story. Did you walk? I hope you kept a diary. If not Sit down right now and write down everything you saw, heard, smelled experienced before you start forgetting. You;ll thank me later.

Paul

#19 Albion

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:32 PM

I just booked my tickets tonight for Thessaloniki and the start of my pilgrimage to Agion Oros in the dead of winter -- February 9. My priest tells me we will be going to Vatopedi, which is a must for us because so many of the monks are Cypriot; as well as to Grigoriou and Dionysiou, because he also has friends there. Sadly, we will not make it to Simonopetra, but he said it is likely to be dangerous getting to and fro if there is snow.

#20 Emmanuel Maalouf

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 02:08 PM

Emmanuel

I'm travelling to mount athos on the first half of February i just wanted to know how the weather is going to be like. I booked my tickets. and if it is feasible to travel alone or do i need a companion.

Thank you




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