Zakynthos (Zante) and Mykonos, and finally arrived at Chios on 4 August 1725. This was the first of Bars'kyj's six visits to the island and produced his most detailed description of the Nea Moni monastery.
Bars'kyj set off from Chios on 9 September 1725 for Thessalonike, and thence to Athos where he spent the winter at the Russian monastery of St Panteleimon. Apart from St Panteleimon, where he felt at home, he appears to have received a somewhat hostile reception at the other monasteries when the monks learnt that he was a pilgrim travelling from Rome. He even had to have his Orthodoxy established before he was admitted to the Eucharist.18 He left Athos on 1 February 1726, and spent the next seven months in Thessalonike, where he perfected his spoken Greek and developed a degree of fluency in Turkish.
On 1 September 1726, Bars'kyj set offby boat forthe Holy Land, visiting along the way Rhodes and Cyprus. On 23 September he arrived at Jaffa, from where he travelled on foot as part of an escorted caravan to Jerusalem, but becoming separated from the caravan he was robbed and beaten. Undeterred he urged all Slavs to make the pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre, as 'there is no country from which so few pilgrims come as from the Russian countries'.19 Bars'kyj's first stay in the Holy Land lasted about seven months, from September 1726 to April 1727. He travelled extensively, mostly residing in monasteries and frequently revisiting holy sites. He drew from oral sources much of the information that he provides concerning the Holy Land although he spent his four-week stay at the monastery of St Sabas reading books in the monastic library. Apart from visits to the Dead Sea and the Jordan River, and a trip to Bethlehem for Christmas, Bars'kyj passed most of his time in Jerusalem.
On 17 April 1727, Bars'kyj left by boat to visit Sinai, but was blown off course and fetched up at Limassol on Cyprus.20 Seeing the hand of God in this, he stayed on the island for three months and visited and described a number of monasteries. By 31 July he managed to reach Cairo, from where he planned to travel to St Catherine's on Mount Sinai, but he was told that the monastery was inaccessible to visitors because of hostile Arabs. After a stay in Cairo that lasted some eight months, he set off for Sinai disguised as a sailor. First crossing the Gulf of Suez to al-TTiir he set out across the desert until he finally arrived at the monastery's locked gate on 31 March 1728. After
20 For a translation ofBars'kyj's account of Cyprus see APilgrim's AccountofCyprus: Bars'kyj's Travels in Cyprus, ed. A. D. Grishin [Sources for the History of Cyprus 3] (Altamont, NY: Greece and Cyprus Research Center, 1996).
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