Meteora: Monastery to Monastery
After watching sunset at The City in the Sky, I was eager to explore further. Whatever you feel is the best translation – Suspended Rocks, Suspended in the Air, or In the Heavens Above – you cannot deny the allure of the monasteries. They are a beacon in the sky calling for me to enter. So I tied up my laces and hiked Monastery to Monastery.
The region is one of Greece’s most striking and I wanted to see it from every angle. There are 6 Orthodox Monasteries remaining on rock pillars today. They are still active monasteries and 4 are inhabited by men and the other 2 by woman. There is now a road that leads up to the top of the rocks and winds around and the monasteries are accessible by stairs cut into the rocks.
I took the local bus up to the first monastery for 2 Euros. I figured walking end-to-end would tire me enough, no need to hike from Kalambaka to the top. As I waited in front of the fountain on the main street in town, 3 other tourists had the same idea, and we joined forces to hike the monasteries. First stop: Megalo Meteoro.
We hopped off the bus and stared up at the huge monastery. They didn’t look so huge from below – but then again, the city below now looked like an ant farm. I wore a high neck t-shirt and capris pants, but I was still required to wear a skirt. Females must wear skirts, pants are not accepted even if they cover everything. I wrapped myself up and entered.
Each Monastery has something a little different but they all contain museums, gift shops, and worship rooms. And yet, even with the similarities, I went mostly for the landscape views the balconies of each Monastery provided. Not to mention the views from the entire hike.
The monasteries used to only be accessible via pulleys, but now have stairs. Each monastery requires a long hike up steep stairs, stairs carved into the stone. Be wary of the stairs, when its 35 degrees out, and minimal cloud coverage, it is HOT – sweaty and melting hot. And I came unprepared – my small bottle of water was quickly devoured before the end of touring Megalo Meteoro.
Next up was Varlaam, than Agias Triada, than Agios Steganos. At each Monastery my first stop was the kiosks selling bottled water. I was parched, and the long hike between monasteries was leaving me depleted of energy. As glorious as the views were, the human body needs water.
But what about those Monasteries? Lets take an Interior and Exterior Views of these Monasteries.
Interiors of the Monasteries:
Exteriors of the Monasteries:
And both the interior and exterior of all 4 monasteries I was lucky enough to explore stunned and amazed me.