Meteora Travel Blog› entry 37 of 44 › view all entries
We started the next morning with breakfast at the hotel and a trip to the local supermarket so we had something for lunch. The rain was coming down harder than ever, and I was already unhappy that the clouds were ruining the view of these old monasteries. It just ate me up inside to think I came all this way to see clouds instead of this strange rock formation.
Meteora (Even the name is cool, don't you think?) is the name of the site in northern Greece where the landscape, although relatively flat, has several strange rock formations. I am not sure how they were formed, but they appear to be tall, thin mountains sticking up from random points in the ground. Hermit monks came to live on these peaks and eventually built more than 20 monasteries there.
Today, only six of the monasteries are still inhabited, five by men and one by women. Our visit would include as many of those as we could. Driving from Kalambaka, we passed through the little town os Kastraki before heading up into Meteora. We found that the first monastery, St. Nicholas Anapausas, was closed on the day we were there. That was a bit of a bummer at first, but we quickly got over it. We drove onward to the second monastery, Rousanou.
Rousanou offered some great views of the area and the Grand Meteora monastery, and had an altar with the typical Greek Orthodox artwork - pictures of their saints getting killed. We walked back down the stairs to our car, and we followed the road to the next monastery, which happened to be the Grand Meteora. This monastery was a really nice size, and I felt like we got our 2 euros worth here. (Each monastery cost 2 euros to go inside.) Although it was raining hard, which monastery, which is set up more like a museum now, houses many of the remaining artifacts from the monks of old.
Inside one room of the Grand Meteora is a room filled with pieces of historical information on the area. Some of these monks faught and gave their lives to defend it. In yet another room are skulls of many of the saints that are shown around the monastery, their picture showing how they were killed. It is said that these skulls are able to perform miracles even to this day.
The rain and clouds were really hindering the view (since we were now quite a ways up), and the view of the area was limited. This really upset me because Meteora was once of the places I had really wanted to see.
That fact, and the rain that just kept coming down really took away from the experience for me. I just wanted to stand up there and appreciate the view, but I couldn't do so. We finally made it to the last monastery, St. Stephen's, but neither of us wanted to pay the 2 euro to go inside. We knew what we'd find in there so we just saved the money and the trouble and chose not to get more wet. We sat in our car and watched the ponchos and umbrellas pass by as we ate the lunch we had packed. When we were done, we drove back to Kalambaka where we filled up the gas tank and then headed south for Delphi.