Sally and Hugh's Balkans trip 2018 travel blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trekking down the Monks' trail

 

 

 

 


On our way to Meteora we took a side road to Kir-Yianni winery in the mountains overlooking a beautiful valley and their vineyard. We took a tour of their up-to-date winery where they explained which grape they grew and fermented and how they are striving to be the best in Greece. We were served lunch on a balcony overlooking their vineyard, the mountains, and the valley. The lunch and wine were excellent.

Meteora is unique in many ways with the towering and gigantic rocks and monasteries built on their summits like eagles nests. There are large and small monoliths with some soaring 1,500 feet of all sizes and shapes from pole like to large mounds. Starting in the 11th century the first hermits and monks climbed the rocks seeking refuge and peace in these rock cavities. In the 13th and 14th century more and more monks arrived fleeing the Ottomans. As many as 44 monasteries were built with only 6 active ones remaining. From isolated places of solicitude and devolution to the present day being one of the most popular places to visit in Greece has it’s up and downs. Where once the only way to some of the monasteries was by being pulled up by block and tackle, now have stairs or bridges. The chapels we visited in the monasteries were exalting and so antiqued, it is hard to believe they were not staged. In addition to visiting some Monasteries we took a long hike on a monks path used in the past for supplies and to visit other monasteries through the rocks that towered high above us. Who says you can’t enjoy life after 65?

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