After breakfast on Monday, the monks took us back down to their dock to catch the boat a little further south to our second destination, the Monastery of Xiropotamou.
As the truck pulled into the dock, we spotted two dolphins leaping along just off the shore. We waited there by the sea for about an hour and half for the boat, and then rode about 30-45 minutes down. (The top photo was taken from the dock, looking south along the
Instead of going all the way to
The second photo is as we approached to dock at St Panteleimon’s. Unfortunately, photos were strictly forbidden (which, unlike in
Inside, a monk gave us a tour of main church and another enormous chapel, which housed the monastery’s enormous relic collection. They have so many relics, in fact, that they have them organized by month. So, for this month, we had St Andrew of
In good Russian style, both churches were entirely covered in a thin layer of gold leaf. They also have the largest bell on the Holy Mountain, weighing in at 14 tons! They reported that it can be heard all over the Holy Mountain and even back in Ouranapoli.
After being completely overwhelmed, we headed off in the 1 pm heat for Xiropotamou. (I should mentioned that it was about 100 degrees, and the path was so uphill, so it was particularly good for our ascetical efforts!)
The path was pretty rustic, but it was an honor to walk the paths trod by so many saints. We took it pretty slowly, resting once or twice, and made it to Xiropotamou in about 50-60 minutes.
The third photo is of Fr Joseph as we took a break along the path.
The bottom photo is as we emerged from the forest path, saw Xiropotamou, and started up their driveway.