Day Four:

 Following Matins and the Divine Liturgy in Dokhiari we hiked along the coast of the Holy Mountain to the monastery of Ksenafon where we venerated many beautiful icons.

From here we took the short drive up the the small but exceptionally warm and welcoming Skete of Ksenafon monastery, where our dear friend Father Evgenius resides. Following a brief but spiritually enriching conversation we settled in for the drive to the Agios Pavlos monastery. This road winds along the highest point accessable by car on Athos, and while we sang an akathist to the Theotokos we were blessed to view some of the most spectacular vistas of the peninsula. Arriving during Vespers we experienced the blessing of hearing the monks chant the service while we venerated the monastery's icons before setting out to our next location. Crossing back over the mountain we arrived at the Karakala monastery. Here we were blessed to venerate the relics of many saints, including the Apostle Peter. As the sun began to set on the Holy Mountain we returned to Ksenafon and hiked back to Dokhiari for the evening. Once again the Theotokos blessed us to help Father Parthenius make incense before retiring for the evening to prepare for services in the morning.