Friday, November 14, 2008

Last Day at Vatopaidi

Monday morning was again 3:00 AM Orthros, followed by Liturgy (Vatopaidi has Liturgy every day). After Orthros all together in the katholicon, everyone split up and went to the various small churches throughout the expansive monastery. There we had relatively quick liturgies, followed by a meal all together again in the refectory.

After the meal, we asked about the boat which goes up and down the east side of the Holy Mountain. Again, it was canceled due to rough seas, so we prepared for the longer journey through Karyes back to Daphne. We got our bags ready and I had about an hour or so to go around the monastery and take photos.

The above photo is from the entrance to our area of the guest houses, looking in toward the center of the monastery. The crane in the background was being used that morning to begin repairing one of the buildings there.

This photo is of the front of the monastery's main church or katholicon.

This photo again is of the front of the monastery's katholikon, but from much closer.

Shortly before the taxi van was to leave to go to Karyes, from which you wait to switch to another bus down to Daphne, one of the monks kindly offered to let us ride down (for free) with one of the monastery's vehicles. In the photo above, the driver had to stop briefly in Karyes to drop off some mail. To the right of the vehicle is the administrative capitol building for the Holy Mountain, which is an autonomous entity within the Greek state. To the left is the Protaton, the church which hosts the Axion Estin icon mentioned previously.

After that brief stop, we headed down to the port of Daphne and bought our tickets for the return boat trip. Once back at Ouranoupoli, we got Paris' car and headed back to Thessaloniki. About halfway home, we stopped in the well-known little village of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St John the Forerunner) for a lunch of their famous souvlaki. Then, finally, we arrived back in Thessaloniki.

So that's all for this adventure. Again, for all the photos from the trip, click here.

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