For our last full day in Greece, we found ourselves on top of the world… Or at least it felt like it.
Meteora, a rock formation located in central Greece near the town of Kalambaka.
As we rode in the bus towards Meteora, the terrain was pretty flat but then, all of a sudden, these jutting pillar like rocks came into view and everyone on our tour bus started oooohing and ahhhing.
But we weren’t visiting Meteora just to see some rocks.
We were traveling there to visit the monasteries located on top of these incredible formations.
In 15th century, there were 20 monasteries located on the tops of Meteora, built by Byzantine monks seeking a safe place to practice their East Orthodox religion during the Turkish occupation of Greece.
Currently, there are only six active monasteries and, of those, we visited the Monastery of Great Meteoron, Monastery of Varlaam, and the Monastery of St. Stephen.
^^ Dress code: The women in our tour group were required to put on skirts before entering each monastery.
^^ While traveling from one monastery to another, our bus driver made a pit stop to allow us time to take photos at this scenic lookout. As terrified as I was with heights and sheer cliff drop, I was determined get as close to the edge as I comfortable with because this was a once in a lifetime experience and I wanted to capture the moment. Can you spot me in the photo above?
^^ Charles was so calm and cool. Meanwhile, I was experiencing a full fit of “I’m about to die” giggles lol. But seriously, do you see how close we were to EDGE!!! It was crazy.
^^ If you look closely in the top left area of the photo above, the monastery was using a pulley system to transport their large items inside since the building isn’t accessible by vehicle.
^^ We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the monasteries so this photo is as close as I could get to show you an interior which was beautifully decorated with biblical imagery and artwork.
^^ And then Charles managed to talk me into taking a jumping pic. Thank goodness for the burst mode on our camera phone because we got it done in one take.
^^ Nailed it. :)
^^ The view from atop Meteora looking down on the nearby town.
All in all, Meteora was an unreal experience of great heights and religious history all in one.
Thinking back on our time there, I always get a feeling of wonder and amazement…
Of wonder for these natural rock formations and amazement for the monks who managed to build the monasteries on top of these jutting rocks without the assistance of modern technology.
Add in the fresh air and beautiful weather we were blessed with that particular day, I’m really glad we closed out our trip with Meteora.
It wasn’t long before our group was in the tour bus and headed back to Athens for our final night in Greece.
You can catch up on my Greece posts HERE