GRČKA – GREECE – Ελλάδα

Zgrada grckog parlamenta-The Hellenic Parliament

Zgrada grckog parlamenta-The Hellenic Parliament

Plaža na ostrvu Kefalonija-Myrtos beach in the north-west of Kelafonia island

Plaža na ostrvu Kefalonija-Myrtos
beach in the north-west of Kelafonia island

Meteori sa manastirima na vrhu-The Meteora with monasteries at the top

Meteori sa manastirima na vrhu-The Meteora with monasteries at the top

Pogled sa vrha ostrva Santorini-A view from the top of the island of Santorini

Pogled sa vrha ostrva Santorini-A view from the top of the island of Santorini

Brdo Akropolj i hram Partenon-The Acropolis hill and Parthenon Temple

Brdo Akropolj i hram Partenon-The Acropolis hill and Parthenon Temple

Anticki amfiteatar Epidaurus-The ancient theatre Epidaurus

Anticki amfiteatar Epidaurus-The ancient theatre Epidaurus

Luka Nafplion na Peloponezu-Seaport town of Nafplio in Peloponnese

Luka Nafplion na Peloponezu-Seaport town of Nafplio in Peloponnese

Bela kula na obali u Solunu-The White Tower of Thessaloniki

Bela kula na obali u Solunu-The White Tower of Thessaloniki

Akropolj i osvetljeni Partenon-The Acropolis and illuminated Parthenon

Akropolj i osvetljeni Partenon-The Acropolis and illuminated Parthenon

Bourtzi Castle, Nafplion

Bourtzi Castle, Nafplion

Centar Soluna-The centre of Thessaloniki

Centar Soluna-The centre of Thessaloniki

Crkva Sv. Grigorije Palama u Solunu-St. Gregory Palamas Church in Thessaloniki

Crkva Sv. Grigorije Palama u Solunu-St. Gregory Palamas Church in Thessaloniki

Luka Nafplion na Peloponezu-Seaport town of Nafplio in Peloponnese

Luka Nafplion na Peloponezu-Seaport town of Nafplio in Peloponnese

Meteori sa manastirima na vrhu-Meteora with monasteries on the top

Meteori sa manastirima na vrhu-Meteora with monasteries on the top

U Grčku sam prvi put otišao sa grupom studenata i odmah se zaljubio u jednu pegavu Engleskinju na ostrvu Naksos. Moja najbolja drugarica Bilja Kostić zaljubila se u jednog Kostasa, a i ostali članovi grupe bili su skloni tom emotivnom procesu. Uspešno smo završili godinu u junu, seli u voz za Atinu i onda – pravo iz Pireja krenuli u osvajanje ostrva: Naksos, Paros, Santorini, Krit, Rodos. Mislim da su ostrva najlepši deo Grčke. Kao da su ostala da žive u jednom drugom vremenu, kao da ih civilizacija ne može probuditi iz sna. Kako to biva u tim mladim godinama, na kraju smo se posvađali, što oko izbora letnjih partnera, što oko putanje, i vratili u grupama. Moja grupa bila je najmanja: ja sâm, koji sam se, zbog Engleskinje, vratio na Naksos, a zatim je, zajedno sa njenim roditeljima, dopratio u luku Pirej. Ona je odatle otišla u London, a ja proveo najtužniji dan svog života, besciljno lutajući Atinom. Zvala se Zita i video sam je samo još jednom. Naslikala je olovkom moj mali portret i napisala: „Majklu (to sam ja u prevodu), čoveku sa potpuno nemogućim nosem za crtanje“. Ipak ga je pogodila.

Santorini je jedno od najzanimljivijih ostrva i, prema nekim teorijama, ostatak Atlantide. Želeo sam u to da verujem kad sam tamo odlazio i gledao sa broda njegove crne vulkanske plaže, zamišljao grotlo ispod nas, u kome je sada more, i gledao strme staze sa magarčićima koji idu uz brdo, lenjo i pod tovarima stvari i turista željnih nesvakidašnjih doživljaja.

Naksos mi je, s druge strane, pružao jedan intiman doživljaj bele kućice sa zvonikom, na vrhu ostrva. Pripadala je Zitinoj tetki koja se tu nastanila, odakle se videla jedna antička kapija, a kroz nju – bugenvilija i pučina. Pogled sa tog mesta je nezaboravan, kao i zalazak sunca sa vetrenjače na obodu Santorinija.

Na Kritu sam voleo da lutam ostacima iz vremena Minoske dinastije u palati Knosos. Voleo sam i kristalnu vodu malog mesta Matala na jugu, sa pećinama u obalnim stenama u kojima su nekada živeli hipici. Na Rodosu su moju pažnju privlačile tvrđave vitezova krstaša Svetog Jovana Jerusalimskog, na Krfu Plava grobnica srpskih vojnika iz Prvog svetskog rata. Setio sam se i svog dede, koji je tada bio bolničar na ostrvu Vido u blizini Krfa. I tu sam se zaljubio, ovog puta u Šveđanku iz Upsale, kojoj sam uzalud pisao na nepoznate adrese. To je bila Grčka moje mladosti, koju sam uvek voleo i vraćao joj se.

Moja današnja Grčka je ozbiljnija, ali i dalje sa mnogo prijatnih obilazaka, kojima nema kraja. Duhovno kraljevstvo pravoslavnih zemalja na poluostrvu Atos, na Svetoj gori, riznica je slavne prošlosti i manastira Srbije, Rusije, Bugarske i Grčke. Moj veliki prijatelj doktor Slobodan Nestorović umeo je danima da luta Svetom gorom u težnji za duhovnim prosvetljenjem (ili iskupljenjem), da spava u raznim manastirima ili čak sa pustinjacima. Ja sam dva puta boravio u Hilandaru, jednom od najznačajnijih svetogorskih manastira i srpskoj duhovnoj svetinji. Kažu da je i princ Čarls često posećivao Svetu goru.

Antička Grčka izgovara svoje monologe na premijeri Euripidovog Oresta, koju pratim sa vrha amfitetra u Epidaurusu. Deset hiljada ljudi burno iskazuje svoje oduševljenje predstavom reditelja Slobodana Unkovskog u tom autentičnom prostoru. Moji grčki prijatelji i kolege Teo Vukidis i Spiro Joanides takođe se dive uspehu te antičke drame, kao i kostimima moje supruge Angeline. To je danas moja Grčka, zemlja sa kojom me povezuju svi aspekti ličnog i profesionalnog života, zemlja kojoj ću se uvek rado vraćati.

Avgust 2008.

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I went to Greece for the first time with a group of fellow students and I immediately fell in love with a freckled English girl on the island of Naxos. My best friend, Bilja Kostić, fell in love with a certain Costas and generally the whole lot of us were very prone to this emotional process. As soon as we finished the school year in June we got on a train to Athens and then from Piraeus we set on conquering the islands – Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes. I think the islands are the most beautiful part of Greece.They appear as if they remained in another time, as if civilisation cannot wake them up from a dream. As it happens to people at this young age, we had an argument, either about the choice of our partners or because we could not agree on the route, and we returned split into groups. My group was the smallest – only myself, as I returned to Naxos alone because of my English girl and then, together with her parents I saw her off in Piraeus. She left for London and I spent the saddest day of my life, aimlessly roaming Athens. Her name was Zita and I saw her only once more. She drew my portrait with a pencil and wrote: ‘ To Michael (that’s my name in translation), a man with the most impossible nose to draw’. She still got it right.

Santorini is one of the most interesting islands, and according to some theories, the remainder of Atlantis. I actually liked to believe that when I was visiting Santorini, watching its black volcanic beaches from the boat, imaging a volcano crater below us in the sea,  while observing steep paths with little donkeys plodding uphill, reluctantly carrying burdens or tourists eager to experience new things.

On the other hand, in Naxos, I remember vividly a little white house with a bell tower, on top of a hill. It belonged to Zita’s aunt, who made her home there and the view from it comprised an antique gate through which you could see the bouganvillea and the open sea. I will never forget that view, or the one at sunset atop a windmill in Santorini.

In Crete, I liked to roam amongst the remnants of the Minoan civilisation at the Knossos Palace. I also loved the crystal clear waters of Matala, a small place in the South of the island, with caves in the cliff of the Matala Bay, that used to be home to hippies. In Rhodes, I was attracted by the fortress of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, in Corfu it was the Blue Graveyard of the Serbian soldiers that perished there in the World War I. It reminded me of my grandfather who was a nurse on the island of Vido near Corfu. I fell in love in Corfu too, this time with a Swedish girl from Uppsala and I kept writing to her without knowing her proper address. That was the Greece of my youth, the one I love and always want to go back to.

The Greece of today, for me, is a lot more serious, however none the less pleasant, with interminable sightseeing trips. The spiritual kingdom of Christian Orthodox countries, on the Athos peninsula, on the Holy Mountain, is home to the precious monasteries of Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia and Greece, treasuring relics of the glorious past. My great friend, Dr Slobodan Nestorović, spent days roaming Chilandar in search of enlightment (or redemption) and nights in different monasteries and even staying with hermits. I visited Chilandar, one of the most important Holy Mountain monasteries and the sacred place of the Serbian Orthodox Christianity, twice. It is said that Prince Charles has often visited Mt. Athos too.

Ancient Greece is reciting its monologues at the premiere of Orestes by Euripides, and I follow it from the top of the amphitheatre in Epidaurus. Ten thousand people are expressing their delight with this play, directed by Slobodan Unkovski,  in such an authentic setting, with an ovation and  frenetic applause. My friends and colleagues, Theo Voukidis and Spyro Ioannides also admire the success of this ancient drama, as well as its costumes designed by my wife Angelina. Today, this is my Greece, a country to which I am bound by all aspects of my personal and professional life, a country that I will always want to go back to.

August 2008

 

 

Sveta gora – Mount Athos – Ἅγιον Ὄρος

Fijala, paraklis Svetih arhandjela i pirg Svetog Save-The phiale, the Chapel of the Holy Archangels and St. Sava's Tower

Fijala, paraklis Svetih arhandjela i pirg Svetog Save-The phiale, the Chapel of the Holy Archangels and St. Sava’s Tower

Gospod Svedrzitelj, okruzen andjelima-Lord Pantocrator surrounded by angels

Gospod Svedrzitelj, okruzen andjelima-Lord Pantocrator surrounded by angels

Grcki manastir Vatoped-The Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi

Grcki manastir Vatoped-The Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi

Hilandar 2013

Hilandar 2013

Jedan od Hilandarskih konaka i pirg Sv. Save-One of the Chilandari's residential buildings and St. Sava's Tower

Jedan od Hilandarskih konaka i pirg Sv. Save-One of the Chilandari’s residential buildings and St. Sava’s Tower

Juzna fasada Sabornog hrama manastira Hilandar sa lozom Svetog Simeona i cisternom-The south facade of the Catholicon of Chilandari Monastery with St. Simeon's grapevine and the cistern

Juzna fasada Sabornog hrama manastira Hilandar sa lozom Svetog Simeona i cisternom-The south facade of the Catholicon of Chilandari Monastery with St. Simeon’s grapevine and the cistern

Manastir Dohijar-Dochiariou monastery

Manastir Dohijar-Dochiariou monastery

Manastir Hilandar pre velikog pozara-Chilandari Monastery before the great fire

Manastir Hilandar pre velikog pozara-Chilandari Monastery before the great fire

Manastir Ksenofont - Xenophontos monastery

Manastir Ksenofont – Xenophontos monastery

Manastir Pantokrator-The Pantokrator Monastery

Manastir Pantokrator-The Pantokrator Monastery

Manastir Velika Lavra-The Monastery of Great Lavra

Manastir Velika Lavra-The Monastery of Great Lavra

Ruski manastir Pantelejmon -St. Panteleimon Monastery

Ruski manastir Pantelejmon -St. Panteleimon Monastery

Skit Svetog Andreja-The Skete of Saint Andrew

Skit Svetog Andreja-The Skete of Saint Andrew

Soba za prijem novih poklonika-A reception room of new pilgrims

Soba za prijem novih poklonika-A reception room of new pilgrims

Trem ispred trpezarije manastira Hilandar-The porch in front of the refectory of Monastery Chilandari

Trem ispred trpezarije manastira Hilandar-The porch in front of the refectory of Monastery Chilandari

Unutar Hilandara-Inside Chilandari Monastery

Unutar Hilandara-Inside Chilandari Monastery

Unutar manastira Pantelejmon - Inside of St. Panteleimon Monastery

Unutar manastira Pantelejmon – Inside of St. Panteleimon Monastery

Unutar manastira Pantelejmon-Inside of St. Panteleimon Monastery

Unutar manastira Pantelejmon-Inside of St. Panteleimon Monastery

Veliki konak manastira Hilandar - The Large Residence of the Chilandari Monastery

Veliki konak manastira Hilandar – The Large Residence of the Chilandari Monastery

Veliki konak manastira Hilandar-The Large Residence of the Chilandari Monastery

Veliki konak manastira Hilandar-The Large Residence of the Chilandari Monastery

Vrh planine Atos u daljini i galebovi koji prate brod koji prevozi poklonike-The peak of Mount Athos in the distance and the seagulls around the boat carrying pilgrims

Vrh planine Atos u daljini i galebovi koji prate brod koji prevozi poklonike-The peak of Mount Athos in the distance and the seagulls around the boat carrying pilgrims

Sveta gora je jedinstvena monaška zemlja na svetu. Iako svetovne probleme i dalje rešava grčka država, oni duhovni prepušteni su četvorici velikodostojnika sa sedištem u Kareji, glavnom gradu ove teritorije. Tu postoji pečat rasečen na četiri jednaka dela i svaki deo pripada jednom od predstavnika takozvanih velikih manastira, među koje spada i Hilandar. Da bi neka odluka bila punovažna, potrebno je da bude overena celim pečatom, odnosno da su sva četvorica predstavnika saglasni.
Na Svetoj gori se nalazi dvadeset pravoslavnih manastira, uglavnom grčkih i po jedan srpski (Hilandar), bugarski (Zograf) i ruski (Pantelejmon), kao i dvanaest skitova i preko šesto kelija. Do njih se dolazi najpre brodom koji dovozi molitvenike iz obližnjih ribarskih mesta Jerisosa i Uranopolisa (Nebeski grad), a potom se oni prevoze zemljanim putevima do manastira koji se nalaze u unutrašnjosti poluostrva, dok su mnogi smešteni i na samoj obali. Manastiri nude svoje konake za prenoćište i svoje trpezarije u kojim obeduju zajedno i monasi i posetioci. Sprema se posna hrana i mastirsko vino, pre jela se očita kratka molitva a zatim jedan od monaha sve vreme čita korisne savete o svakodnevnom životu.
Prva velika molitva u manastiru Hilandar počinje u dva časa iza ponoći i traje skoro do sedam, ali ako se uzme u obzir da je povečerje pre osam uveče, do dva ste već naspavani i spremni za dugu molitvu. Kasnije se može posetiti manastirska riznica u kojoj se čuvaju vredne relikvije.
Duhovna atmosfera koja vlada u manastirima, ali i čitavoj Svetoj gori, mora se osetiti bar jednom u životu. Neki to rade više puta godišnje, nekima je to izlaz iz puke svakodnevice, mnogima duševna hrana i mir.
Iskušenja uvek postoje i zato žene, kažu, suviše poštuju da bi im dozvolili ulaz. Iako zbog toga trpe kritike savremene Evrope, ostaju i dalje verni svojoj tradiciji.

Novembar 2013.

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Mount Athos is a country of monks, unique to the world. Even though public affairs are dealt with by the Greek state, spiritual matters are left to the four church dignitaries whose seat is in Karyes, the capital city of this terriory. Each dignitary representing the so-called great monastery holds one fourth of a seal. One of these monasteries is the Serbian Hilandar Monastery. For any major decision to be valid, it has to be stamped by the four parts of the seal, in other words, all four representatives need to agree.

Mount Athos is home to 20 Orthodox monasteries, mostly Greek, and one Serbian (Hilandar), one Bulgarian (Zograf), and one Russian (St. Panteleimon), as well as 12 sketes and over 600 monastic cells. They can be reached by boats which bring believers from nearby fishing towns of Ierissos and Ouranoupolis, and then by roads that lead inland to the monasteries, while some are on the coast as well. Monasteries offer overnight accommodation as well as dinner alongside the monks. Fat-free food and monastery wine is served, there is a short prayer before the meal, and then one of the monks reads practical advice for everyday life.

The first long prayer at the Hilandar monastery begins at 2am and lasts until almost 7am, however as bedtime is 8pm, by 2am you have already had enough sleep. Later you can visit the monastery treasury where important relics are kept.

The spiritual atmosphere in the monasteries, as well as the entire Mount Athos, has to be experienced once in a lifetime. Some people visit several times a year, some find it an escape from everyday life whereas for many these visits are food for the soul. My great friend, Dr. Slobodan Nestorović, spent days roaming Hilandar in search of enlightment (or redemption) and nights in different monasteries and even staying with hermits.

Temptations always abound, hence, as they say, the monks respect women too much to let them in. Even though they are subjected to the criticism of modern Europe, they remain faithful to their tradition.

 November 2013

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