Around noon on Friday, we left the Romanian Skete and made the 40-minute hike back to the Great Lavra. It really is enormous! It’s the oldest and largest monastery on Mt Athos, and currently houses the most monks – 300 I heard. They even have their own helicopter pad! For more information, click here.
When we arrived, we had the traditional ouzo and Turkish delight and were then shown to our room. We wandered around for a little bit before Vespers, which was at 3 PM.
I took the top photo at the entrance to the monastery.
The second photo is taken from one of the narrow pathways between the many buildings inside the monastery.
I took the third photo from the seafront side of the monastery, looking back up the hill.
After Vespers, we had a meal in an enormous trapeza. We sat in groups of about 10 around these gigantic one-piece marble tables that look like they’ve been there since the monastery was founded in the 900s. Whenever they were put there, I’m quite sure they haven’t been moved since!
After the meal, we went back to the katholikon for Small Compline and veneration of the monastery’s impressive collection of relics. By then, we were very ready to retire for the evening.
Orthros wasn’t until 4 AM the next morning, so we even got to sleep in! ( ;
Unfortunately, the only mini-bus of the day left at 6:45, so we had to leave the service at that point to catch the ride back to Karyes.