The mini-bus took us to the Great Lavra, and from there it was just a 40-minute hike down to the Romanian Skete of the Honorable Forerunner (Timiou Prodromou). I got a really cool walking stick at Dafni which proved to be very handy. ( :
The top photo is of the Skete as we first saw it from the road.
The middle photo is of the katholikon, taken from just inside the main gates.
The bottom photo is of the courtyard which connects the main part of the Skete with some outbuildings which serve as workshops.
We were somewhat surprised to discover that many of the Romanian monks only knew a few words of Greek (even less than me!). Even here on the
We tried to find my friend, Fr. Amilianos, who is a monk there, but language added to the complication. People kept telling us he was there, but we never saw him. Finally, the next day, we learned that they were talking about another Fr. Amilianos and that the one we were looking for was caring for a sick monk at a cell in Karyes. My Greek teacher (who had him also for a student 6 years ago) had sent me with a box of sweets for him (a traditional greeting), so I just left them for the guests. (I didn’t think we would see him, but – as it turns out – we had a very memorable visit with him in Karyes as we left, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
Anyway, Vespers was at 3, followed by the meal, then Small Compline. During Small Compline, as is the usual custom, they brought out their relics for veneration.
After that, it was off to bed – around 7 PM! We were up the next morning at 2 for Orthros.