Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Holy Mountain: To Dafni

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The monastery opens their gates briefly in the morning to let out departing visitors, so we and the other pilgrims exited the interior of the monastery around 9 am. Most of the others waited until the bus came by around 10:45 to take everyone down to the port of Dafni, but Fr Joseph and I decided to have an adventure.

First, we explored the grounds of the monastery a little, and found what looked to be the most recent burial place for departed monks, including a little building which stores their remains.

The first photo is of the exterior of the monastery, with some of their gardens to the left.

The second photo is of the sea and the port of Dafni from a shaded patio area just outside the monastery walls.

The third photo is of Fr Joseph in the cemetery, which also overlooks the sea and Dafni.

The fourth photo is of Fr Joseph exploring the building which houses the monks’ remains.

After that, we set off toward Dafni, which was about a 40-minute hike along what appeared to be an old narrow donkey path.

Once in Dafni, we waited for our boat back to the world. All my photos from the trip can be viewed here.

I should add that, while we were on the Holy Mountain, Pelagia and Kh. Sophia took a trip to Elder Paisios’ men’s monastery of St Arsenios the Cappadocian in Halkidiki, as well as the women’s monastery in Ormylia, which is famous for its chanting.

When we returned to Panorama on Wednesday evening, Fr Joseph had only about an hour before the three of them left for Serbia. I’m happy to report that they arrived safely, after a 19-hour train ride (which was supposed to be 12).

As a side note, on Wednesday evening we also had a very small earthquake here around 8 or 9 pm. Apparently it measured 4.3 and was centered somewhere near Thessaloniki. Fortunately, it was only one shudder which lasted less than a second.

Thessaloniki is an earthquake area, the last major one being 1978.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to do some translation work while they are away. On Wednesday, we all will go to Corfu to venerate St Spyridon.


jack A Anderson said...

Hello all,
Jack wants to know how is Ruman and his wife? How was the trip to Bulgaria and do you have any pictures of the trip to post online? Greet Kh. Sophia and of course Father Joseph. We miss them here in Yakima. Love to read all you have to say and look forward to the pictures! They are GREAT!
Jack & Gloria Anderson

Gregory said...

There was limited room in Ruman's apartment in Bulgaria, so Pelagia and I didn't make the trip. But Fr Joseph and Kh Sophia seemed to have a great time -- they visited the famous monastery of St John of Rila. Of course, Khouria has LOTS of photos, but I don't want to steal her thunder. I'll let her show them when she gets home. ( :

Rdr. Arsenios said...

No surprise on the minor earthquake after the arrival of Fr. Joseph...

What a great series of shots and commentary... Thank-you...

Rdr. Arsenios