Pilgrimage to Greece 9: Mt. Athos

Dawn had not showed herself when we got the taxi. By the time we were dropped off at the bus station, the east was discernable. The bus traveled its roads and off-roads through my sleep and half-sleep. We were climbing a mountainous ridge and came down into an idyllic village, narrow streets and houses of … Continue reading

Pilgrimage to Greece 8: Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki   Just north of the great rocks of Meteora, one leaves the plain of Thessaly and enters the hills. There are beautiful grazing pastures and farmlands until suddenly the hills have become mountains. The narrow road winds along precipitous slopes, though it does not seem that these mountains are very tall. The road explores … Continue reading

Pilgrimage to Greece 7 – Meteora

Meteora The great central plain of Thessaly ends here: at the broken majestic knees of the mountains, where the gods sat throned and gazing over the land in sagas out of fantasy. But the deeds that were accomplished on those towers of rock surpass the imagination of legend. The Byzantine monasteries perched impossibly on sheer … Continue reading

Pilgrimage to Greece 6: The Island of Euboia (Evia)

The Island of Euboia (Evia)             First a word of advice on travel in Europe: gas is expensive, and cars are small. If one wants the independence of movement a car gives, he should be prepared to pay. We rented a car in Athens to take us at our own leisure north through Meteora to … Continue reading

Pilgrimage 5- Athens

Athens Walking the streets of Athens, the old quarter (the “Plaka”): A man might be walking in a dream, between the curtains of centuries. The commercial buildings here, stores and hotels, are not old for a European city, wood structures encased in stone or stucco not much more than a hundred years in age. They … Continue reading

Pilgrimage 4- Andros

On the Island of Andros The Ancient Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring Macrina’s stories of this place, from her journey here twelve years before, have remained vivid in my imagination. She described it as a great but half-ruined hilltop fortress, inhabited by just two nuns. All the others had died of old age. Among the … Continue reading