Destination: the Holy Mountain
The easternmost leg of Chalkidiki peninsula (Central Macedonia, Greece) takes its name: Mount Athos, Agion Oros, the Holy Muntain is there waiting for us… already from the early sunrise hours.
And it will wait for long, as no woman is allowed, the documents necessary to cross its border must be requested six months in advance and an Orthodox travel companion is recommended (in the picture below, Saint Athanasios of Alexandria, XVth century).
This year I got all but the documents: my visit to this autonomous polity, home to more than 20 monasteries and cradle of the reborn Eastern Orthodox Church must be postponed.
Still, I wake up every morning in Sikias, placed on the eastern shores of the middle leg (aka Sithonia) of Chalkidiki peninsula: the Holy Mountain and its treasures are always there in front of me.
I will see Mount Athos across the Singitic gulf for 14 days…
… and 14 nights, with an astonishing bright Milky Way passing just above its 2,033 meter peak.. but I will never reach it, or will I?
There is also a westernmost leg of Chalkidiki peninsula (if you were wondering why Sithonia is the middle leg) that is called Kassandra, but nothing will be written about Kassandra in this travel across the North Agean Sea.
Pictures shot with Nikon D800 and Huawei P40 Pro. Lens and mount for astrophotography: Sigma 14 mm f/1.8 and iOptron Skyguider Pro. Click each picture to zoom in.