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Meteora

Up at 4.30am to catch the 5.15am train to Kalambaka to visit Meteora.

We were on the Athens train but changed trains at 6.50am at Palaeofarsalos for the next train to Kalambaka. The next train was waiting on the other side of the platform and after we boarded it left. All so easy as the next station was announced as well as the ticket master came through & would let us know when it was our stop so there was no risk of missing the connection. As we approached Kalambaka we could see the massive rocks dwarfing this small town .

Got off the train & had to ask several people where our guesthouse was. They didn't speak English & didn’t know where it was so I eventually called for directions. It was only a 5 minutes walk and right behind the railway station. We clambered over the tracks with our suitcases & were soon at the lovely stone home called Monistiri Guesthouse. The owner Dita was so helpful, giving us maps and recommending what to do in Meteora.

We left our bags in the entry & headed out with our mud maps Dita had given us to find the bus station, ended up taking a wrong turn, lost each other and nearly didn’t make the bus. I found it first & bought our tickets for 1.60 E each called Leigh and directed her to where I was. The bus started up just a she arrived!!

We could have walked the 7 km up to the Monastery but being all uphill were glad we were on the bus! We passed several of the rock pinnacles topped with monasteries and through the cute little village of Kastriki.

Between the 14th and 16th centuries 24 monasteries were built – today 6 remain in use.

The bus dropped us off at Great Meteora the largest monastery.

There were heaps of people on bus tours at this one but the crowds thinned out after that.

We climbed down & then up 270 steps through a small walking tunnel carved in the stone up to the entrance. It was 3 E to enter & we girls had to wrap long skirts around our pants – not sure why as the men didn’t have to – wasn’t like we had bare legs or anything!!

Each monastery had a hoist system with baskets to bring people and goods up and down. These buildings were incredible feats of engineering with the walls appearing seamless with the rock and just an extension of the sides of the pinnacles. There were beautiful big stone rooms, churches that were so ornate and every bit of walls and ceiling was covered in paintings.

There were panoramic views down over the valley and to the other monasteries.

Down the road we walked to visit another one called Varlaam – more great views down these sheer cliffs.

We then started the 4km walk across the top of the hills where these pinnacles are and walked up and down undulating hills on the road. We passed another 2 monasteries but didn’t go in. We only passed another 2 ladies walking & everyone else went past us on bus tours.

At the Holy Trinity monastery we found the footpath sign to take us back down to the village of Kalambaka. It was a steep cobble stoned path through thick forest –lots of birds and butterflies and so peaceful. We found a tortoise crossing the path so Leigh picked it up so we could get some piccies.

Leigh’s knee was no good so she hobbled the last part. Back in the village we went to to this great restaurant with the best Greek food. For 8 E we could choose 1 meat and 3 serves of veggies. I had lamb in eggplant, zucchini, celery & leeks – all sooo good!! Of course it was accompanied with nice bread to mop up the oil.

We walked back to our guesthouse got settled in our room, showered and had a lovely lie on the bed, with a nice breeze blowing in our balcony doors that over looked the rocks and one of the monasteries.

While Leigh rested I wandered around the town of 12,000 people past several squares, which were surrounded, by bakeries, tavernas and cafes. The café sidewalks were full of older men sitting having coffee and a yarn

I bought some snack food for dinner of ham and cheese on crackers, as Leigh didn’t want to go out with her sore knee. Nice simple dinner and as it got dark the lights were lit up behind the town and looked stunning.

Accomodation communal area

Accomodation communal area


Meteora behind our ittle town

Meteora behind our ittle town


Back of our accomodation our balcony on the right

Back of our accomodation our balcony on the right


Towering cliffs

Towering cliffs


Our yummy greek lunch

Our yummy greek lunch


Never failed to impress

Never failed to impress


Towering over homes that backed up to them

Towering over homes that backed up to them


Finding the trail back down

Finding the trail back down


There was a monastery up the top of that one

There was a monastery up the top of that one


Top of one monastery & looking to another

Top of one monastery & looking to another


Pretty cool

Pretty cool


And another

And another


Found this guy walking back down the hill

Found this guy walking back down the hill


Tortoise

Tortoise


Leigh & tortosie

Leigh & tortosie


Leigh on the downhill trail

Leigh on the downhill trail


Leigh & I

Leigh & I


Carrying our suitcases across the railway tracks

Carrying our suitcases across the railway tracks


Pretty

Pretty

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Greece

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