Greece: Kalambaka/Meteora, 23 June 2009

We started out in the morning for our hike to beat the afternoon sun. After loading up on breakfast and packing some water supplies, we headed towards the hills, and followed the signs towards the cliffs. When you don’t actually know where you are going, things always seem a whole lot further, and it always seems a lot longer. Yeah, for most part of the way, we really didn’t know where we were heading, or if there’d be anything at the end of the hike. So that was one long hour. Thankfully, at a clearing, we did sort of see the monasteries, and as we got further along in the journey, we did meet people who told us we were headed in the right direction.

Hiking up from Kalambaka to Meteora

On the way, and not quite knowing where this is going

Hiking up from Kalambaka to Meteora

On the way and not quite knowing where this is going

Holy Trinity Church, Meteora

Finally!

Upon reaching the top of the hill, we decided to go to St. Stephen’s first. St. Stephen’s is still an active monastery, hence, there are only very limited areas that are open. Well, they let you into their garden, which gives you a bird’s eye view of the town of Kalambaka, and you can check out some of their murals at the entrance, and donate to their cause by buying some souvenirs at their gift shop. The nuns in the gift shop didn’t look too happy with the influx of tourists, but I guess I wouldn’t be too, if I thought I signed up for a life of quiet contemplation, and ended up manning a cash register in the monastery.

St. Stephen's Church, Meteora

St. Stephen’s Monastery

St. Stephen's Church, Meteora

Art in St. Stephen’s Monastery

Our next stop was Church of the Holy Trinity. It is no longer an active site of worship. The climb up was pretty insane. After all the stairs we climbed to get up to Meteora, there were more stairs involved for the Church of the Holy Trinity. Nevertheless, it was pretty interesting. We saw how the monks used to try and deal with the height, through the use of lifting devices. There were also breathtaking views if you walked out of the monastery and tried scaling some of the rocks.

Meteora

View from Church of the Holy Trinity

Old lifting device in Holy Trinity Church

Lifting device at Church of the Holy Trinity

There are many, many other churches in Meteora, but the rest of them definitely required a bus trip. If you do decide to head to Meteora, be sure to check the opening times of the monasteries, as they differ.

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Categories: Architecture, Greece, Travel Tip, UNESCO | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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