Mount Athos, 1971
part 1- From Ouranoupolis to Dafni
A few words about this collection of photos
Since I was a boy and started using a photo camera, I dreamt about visiting two places that seemed impossible to me. One was Mount Athos and the other was Tibet.
The trip to Mount Athos took place in the Autumn of 1971. I was then 24 years old and I was serving my 28 months military service in the Greek Armed Forces. I used twenty days of my leave to make this journey, seventeen of them in Mount Athos.
My travel companion to this fantastic trip was my cousin and very good friend Spyros Bafaloukos (1953-2015) to whom this collection of pictures is dedicated. Spyros had just finished his exams to enter the Medical School of the University of Athens. His attempt was successful. He became a doctor, a very good cardiologist.
The trip started with a ten hours bus drive from Athens to Salonica, then a four hours bus drive to Ouranoupolis, a three hours trip on a small boat to Dafni and finally a one hour drive to Karyes on a funny car, half bus and half lorry.
Most of the trip was on foot, some on small boats. Most of the places we visited had no roads leading to them and had no electricity or phone connection with the rest of the world.
In 1971 there were very few (some hundreds) monks in the Holy Mountain.
That time, in my opinion, in the over one thousand years of its existence, the decline of Mount Athos in terms of population, spiritualism and maintenance of the structures was never worse.
P.S. My visit to Tibet took place in 2012.
Left top, Spyros Bafaloukos during our visit to Mount Athos
Left bottom, Spyros Bafaloukos