METEORA: It took 3 buses to reach Meteora and well worth it. To see the monasteries sitting on top of these huge rock pillars. In the 15th century Turkish raiders wanted control over the fertile plains. The hermit monks, seeking a retreat from the Turks found the inaccessible rock pillars of Meteora to be an ideal refuge. More than 20 monasteries were built, and 6 remain.
What a magnificent site! We hiked to 4 of them the first day. Through the forest and up many steps to the monasteries. We tried a shortcut through the valley from one monastery to another. Did not end up saving any time, but had a great fun bush whacking our way through brush, around rocks, prickly plants across a stream and up the other side of the valley.
There are in total 70-80 monks & nuns still working these monasteries. Two are run by nuns and 4 by monks. We were lucky to have the opportunity to chat for a few minutes with a nun at St. Barbara Roussanou Monastery. There are 16 nuns here and they have their own farm and make products, among them healing creams, etc. She was very interesting. This monastery has a very pretty flower garden. Sets it apart from the monks!
The 2nd day we hired a taxi to take us to one for pictures as it was not open on Mondays and to the Agia Trias – Holy Trinity. From here we walked a 2km trail down the valley to Kalambaks to make arrangements to go to Albania.
Met a couple from Santa Rosa, California when we were having dinner. A large group of Israelies were next to us and we all ended up partying and singing together. It was great fun. Bernie represented Canada well as our “dancing queen”.
Now we have a contact in Santa Rosa for when Keith goes down to play in the Snoopy Hockey tournament!
Greece is a very pretty country. Lots of farm land and easy to get around. We had a delightful time here and would highly recommend travel here. This is the 1st country where we found you can drink the tap .
Moving on to Albania.....