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Mt Athos visit in November


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#21 Albion

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 09:06 AM

Welcome to Monachos, Emmanuel. We are neighbours, as I live in Cyprus.

I am expecting it to be bitterly cold, probably with snow, and perhaps a bit windier than usual.

Not sure what you mean by travelling alone. Do you mean going there in general, or making your way from one place to another once you are there?

For me, this is the first time, and I could not imagine going alone. I am blessed to be going with my priest/spiritual father, who has been there many times and knows many people, and who will give me an introduction I could never experience on my own.

As for travelling alone on the mountain in February, I would not recommend it. From what I understand, roads and pathways can be treacherous, and the consequences of having an accident or getting lost could be disastrous.

One final thing. You said you have booked your tickets. I assume you are aware that you also need permission to enter.

#22 Albion

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 10:58 AM

While I'm here, can anyone give me guidance on buying hand-written icons when I am on Athos? Budget permitting, I would like to buy a Pantokrator and a Theotokos. I'm thinking in terms of around 25 cm x 20 cm (roughly 8x10 inches).

#23 Paul Cowan

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 06:20 PM

Iveron and St. Panteleimon seemed to me to have the best bookstores. Of course you can buy somehting "off the shelf" at Daphne and Karyes and in Ournopolis. I don't recommend these latter places though. I think the monks at St. Anne's Skete also write/paint icons so you might be able to purchase something from them directly.

Paul

#24 Emmanuel Maalouf

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 08:07 PM

euxaristo para polu gia tous plirofories ! endelos 8a paw me ton nonos mou. kserw oti 8elw diamonitirio ala prin apo poso kairo prepi na klisw 8esis ? 8a eimai stin kupro gia 12 ores sto aerodromeo epidi den exei kateu8ian gia 8essaloniki apo vurito. 8a eimaste giro apo 8-9 feb ston agion oros kai egw einai oi proti fora pou anevenw. elpizw oti 8a einai to kati allo!

xeretismata apo vurito

Emmanuel

#25 Paul Cowan

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:28 AM

euxaristo para polu gia tous plirofories ! endelos 8a paw me ton nonos mou. kserw oti 8elw diamonitirio ala prin apo poso kairo prepi na klisw 8esis ? 8a eimai stin kupro gia 12 ores sto aerodromeo epidi den exei kateu8ian gia 8essaloniki apo vurito. 8a eimaste giro apo 8-9 feb ston agion oros kai egw einai oi proti fora pou anevenw. elpizw oti 8a einai to kati allo!

xeretismata apo vurito

Emmanuel


gazuntite.

#26 David Lanier

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:17 PM

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


Paul just a note to let you know that the link to the Pilgrim's guide from the Friends of Mt. Athos page is broken.

Thanks

#27 Paul Cowan

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 05:35 AM

I guess the "Friends" are on winter break?

#28 Robert Alllison

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 12:43 AM

Paul just a note to let you know that the link to the Pilgrim's guide from the Friends of Mt. Athos page is broken.

Thanks


Greetings to all members of the forum. I have just registered, and unfortunately managed to mis-spell my own name (only 2 Ls in Allison!). I will try to get this changed.

A couple of people have had problems accessing the Pilgrims Guide on the FoMA website. There are two possible explanations.

First, the Christmas blizzard caused a blackout at Bates College, which hosts the FoMA website. If that was the problem, you will see the site is now again available.

Second, if you are still having problems, please go to the home page (www.athosfriends.org/) and hit the "refresh button. From then on you should be able to access our pages.

This is because we have been working on a major upgrade to our website which we are implementing section by section through the site. The objective is to bring it up to current W3c standards (standards established by the World Wide Web Consortium). If you are having problems, it is probably because you are reading a cached page rather than the upgraded one.

With best wishes from me and the Friends of Mount Athos for every blessing for a happy new year,

Bob Allison

#29 Paul Cowan

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 05:32 AM

Mr. Allison,

Thank you and welcome to the forum. It means alot to me personally and I am sure to others here to have someone with your knowledge and expertise joining us. I look forward to anything you can share with us about the Holy Mountain and of course all things Orthodox.

Paul

#30 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:20 AM

Mr. Allison, it's an honor to have you here in the forums. You may not remember me, but I e-mailed you in the weeks previous to my Mt. Athos trip, and you generously provided me helpful advice. The days at Mount Athos are the ones I cherish most in my memory from my European trip of a lifetime.

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, I read your advice and started following it... although I don't remember everything in exact detail after some months, I'm writing down everything I remember, because the memories are many and varied. It's curious how memories get "embellished" over time... I hardly remember now suffering the Greek summer weather (as I surely suffered), or having scarce sleep, but instead, the memories from the spiritual experience are growing in intensity as time goes by...

#31 David Lanier

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:50 AM

Lord willing, I would like to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain this year. I was thinking some time after Pascha, perhaps sometime in May, but it doesn't have to be then.

I have about 2 weeks to play with and must fly to Athens rather than Thessaloniki.

In some of the threads I've read, I understand it can be a bit difficult to arrange to stay at some of the monasteries there. With only two weeks, I don't want to spend the time hopping from one monastery to another constantly and not get a chance to stay for some time at at least one.

Can anyone help me to figure out which monasteries to visit, and how best to contact them and arrange to stay with them?

#32 Paul Cowan

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 02:45 AM

David,

From what was told to me and I in no way asked alot of questions, is you get two types of visits to the Mountain.
1) a night at a monastery and 2 if you are lucky before you have to move on
2) your entire stay at one monastery. They have to make the arrangements for you with "the office".

The closer the spring burns on the more crowded it is supposed to be. I prefer fewer people myself.

Paul

#33 David Lanier

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 03:54 AM

David,

From what was told to me and I in no way asked alot of questions, is you get two types of visits to the Mountain.
1) a night at a monastery and 2 if you are lucky before you have to move on
2) your entire stay at one monastery. They have to make the arrangements for you with "the office".

The closer the spring burns on the more crowded it is supposed to be. I prefer fewer people myself.

Paul


Yes I've heard that it can get crowded during the Spring and Summer months. Who is they and how to get in touch with them? I am looking for some answers that I can put into action.

Thanks

#34 Paul Cowan

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:57 AM

"they" is the specific monastery you want to spend an extended stay with. If you do not plan to stay more than 2 days, you willneed to make your own arrangements. have you seen the Friends of Mt. Athos site? You can get most all your questions answered there.

Just keep in mind the time difference from where you are to when they are answering phones.

paul

#35 David Lanier

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:11 AM

Yes I've glanced at the Friends of Mt. Athos site briefly. The Pilgrim's guide is a broken link.

Someone once posted here somewhere about getting a map from the daughter of someone. Is this still available?

What about which monasteries are the must sees and maybe which to avoid?

Edited by David Lanier, 26 January 2011 - 05:13 AM.
additino


#36 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 05:43 AM

Michael, David, have you gone to Mount Athos?

If you didn't, we'll join you in your prayers to get there.

If you did, we would love to hear from you!

#37 David Lanier

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 03:41 PM

I have not gone yet. I had been thinking of going in May, but I am flying on frequent flyer miles, but the available dates in the Spring aren't really to my liking, so I may postpone until the Fall of the year, and maybe try to make a trip to St. Tikhon's here in the States between now and then.

I'm still not exactly sure how to arrange contact to the monasteries on Mt. Athos or exactly which one's to try and visit, (the Friends of Athos site has several broken links so that's not helping), but hopefully there is some information here on Monachos in one of the several threads on Mt. Athos that can get me started.

#38 David Lanier

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 03:43 PM

Correction: The Friends of Athos links appear to have been fixed now...

#39 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 05:00 PM

I'm still not exactly sure how to arrange contact to the monasteries on Mt. Athos or exactly which one's to try and visit, (the Friends of Athos site has several broken links so that's not helping), but hopefully there is some information here on Monachos in one of the several threads on Mt. Athos that can get me started.


David, it is possible one of the Orthodox priests or monks you know (either from your local parish or from St. Tikhon) already know monks living at Athos. They could get you in contact with them, or even make arrangements for you. If this is the case, selecting the monasteries where there will be someone receiving you would be your best shot, as you'll surely experience the monastery life in a much closer way.

Another choice is to see in the calendar whether a monastery is celebrating their Feast Day during the time of your visit. Going to a monastery during its Feast Day is a sure way to get lodging without previous reservation (they never reject anybody on that day) plus you get to experience an Athonite All-Night Vigil.

Your choices will also be subject to how many days you plan to go, whether you will be walking or moving by other means. For walking and taking ferries, there are resources available for calculating distances and times involved.

#40 Albion

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:01 PM

I returned from my trip two days ago, and my head is still spinning.

I definitely do not recommend three monasteries in four days, which is what we did. A night at Grigoriou, a night at Dionysiou and two at Vatopaedi. So much time was consumed by packing, unpacking and rushing for boats and buses. Compound that with the monastic hours, and snoring roommates, and you can imagine.

All that said, I don't regret the trip one bit. Contrary to my fears, the days were almost springlike, though the nights quite chilly. Aside from some early-morning clouds, it was sunny. The the natural beauty of the place is stunning, awe-inspiring, as are the architecture, frescoes and icons. We were hospitably received everywhere, though Grigoriou was very formal in that respect. One of my priest's best high school mates was at Dionysiou, so that made for a warmer reception. And at Vatopaedi, jokingly referred to as the Cypriot monastery though there are 15 nationalities represented, the reception was wonderful for us Cypriots, genuine or adoptive. Monks there just walked over and struck up conversations with me. The food everywhere was wholesome, but spartan as expected.

Spiritually, the experience was generally disappointing for me. I usually work evenings/nights, and rarely go to bed before 1 a.m., and quite often as late 2.30 or 3. My system simply couldn't adjust to waking up at 4 a.m. and then spending four hours in church. That was compounded on the mental level by my poor Greek and not being able to follow the services. I fear my ascesis leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, it was thrilling to be able to venerate so many wonderful relics, including the hand of John the Baptist, the skull of St John Chrysostom (complete with uncorrupt ear) and, most wonderfully, the girdle of the Theotokos. Also, the chanting at Vatopaedi was splendid, although I was unfamiliar with the Athonite style.


I do hope to go back some day, and will plan to go only to Vatopaedi and stay for four or five days.




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