Wednesday 15 May 2013

Making a beeline to Russia

Soon I'll be setting off to the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea, a 3000km pilgrimage.

The idea came from something I posted on my LEL blog back in 2009.  And it was years before (2000 I think), that an article, written by Paul Adriaensen in a Flemish bee magazine, first caught my eye.

It described St Zozimus and St Sabatius who, in 1429, founded one of the biggest monasteries in Russia.  Since then, I kept coming across snippets of information on the topic.  Especially their depiction on icons was intriguing.  Very often the two monks are presented together, and often with a reference to bees.  Both, but more so St Zozimus, are seen as protectors of beekeepers.

The more I found out, the more I was drawn to the Solovetsky Islands.   The islands are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The monastery is shown on the 500 rubles banknote.   The area has a troubled history, being the site of the first gulag prison camp.

Religion and history were my worst subjects at school.  This pilgrimage is about religion and history.

Friends and colleagues have wanted to express support.  It wasn't my intention to raise funds, but Bees for Development (BfD) would certainly welcome a donation.  BfD make a huge impact on beepkeers' livelihoods in the developing world.  Thank you!

PayPal Donation - no registration required - do add a 'Note to Seller' with a reference me or this trip.

I'll tweet using #stzozi, along this 4 week journey.  Follow me, tweet me.


Anonymous said...

Verlangen om jou en John Spooner te zien volgende week zaterdag!
Berichtjes onderweg zullen zeer welkom zijn.

Meim en Peip xxx xx

Kris said...

Ik zal al die tijd heel veel aan jullie denken en " bidden" voor goed weer, goede gezondheid en goed materiaal! xxx

Clergy Who Cycle said...

Looks like you'll be cycling through Turku. I work there about one week in four. When will you be passing through? I should be there at the beginning of July and again in August.

Swarm_Catcher said...

Hi, seen your message on 7th on June. Yesterday, we passed through Turku. What a missed opportunity! Thanks for the message. Els