About Alexandra Heep

About Alexandra Heep: The internet has allowed allowed Alexandra to maintain a semblance of life when encountering an unexpected, lingering health crisis. The Internet is a lifeline which not only allows her to remain connected to friends, but also survive, via writing.While Alexandra Heep is her pen name, she does not hide behind it. Instead, she used it to brand herself on the Internet and to create opportunities.

Alexandra published her first book, a collection of her best poems, on July 11, 2012. You can buy it at Lulu.com

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A to Z Challenge 2020: X is for Xenophontos Monastery

I was so excited for X because I thought I would have a unique card to show that I was supposed to receive as part of a trade. Well, I can still show it, but I don't have it because the Coronavirus situation has severely impacted international mail service. At least my trading partner received the copper postcard I sent, something I reserve for extremely rare trades.

The Xenophontos Monastery is located on Mount Athos, which is an autonomous region of Greece. It was founded in the 10th century. Its oldest surviving church dates back over 500 years. The monastery houses icons that are even older than that and thousands of ancient books.

Xenophontos is one of 20 monasteries on Mount Athos. The total population of the mount is about 2,000 - so that's about 100 monks per monastery. However, not all monks actually live in a monastery and choose to exist in relatively total isolation.

Women have never been allowed to visit the land, so you have to be male to set foot on there. Even the coastline is off limits for 500 feet. My research shows that even female animals aren't allowed. How that works I don't know.

Perhaps it applies to animals brought by visitors as in the case of service dogs? Anyway, all visitors must abide by a certain etiquette in order to not disrupt the serenity. You can't just show up either.

Any visit takes weeks of planning, paper work and a passport. You must be appropriately dressed and can't have a hairstyle that attracts attention. (For example, my pink hair would not be allowed, even if I was male).

Fun fact: Most of the food is grown on the island and consists of fish, vegetables and wine. Each monastery has their own winery. 

I really do hope my card will show up some day because it's so rare. It was supposed to have been mailed by a male friend of my female trading partner. Said friend was going there on a pilgrimage.


gallonggarden.blogspot.com said...

Wow! Who would think something like that would exist in the 21st century. Interesting look at an interesting place.

ms_lili said...

This place does seem to be an anomaly. I'm trying to think of that place where Wonder Woman grew up, where there were only females. Just as Wonder Woman's story is a famous myth, I bet all kinds of stories could be created about the place.

JadeLi@taotalk (captcha not working)