Meteora – Ascending into Heaven

Today we boarded a train from Athens to Kalambaka to see the Monasteries of Meteora built on top of the rock mountains .  After the 5 hour ride we were beginning to question if we should have made the trip.  We wondered if what we would see would be worth the time put into getting there.  On the bright side, we had met a really nice couple from Canada and had enjoyed chatting and getting to know them.  As soon as we got off the train we were greeted by staff from VisitMeteora.com and we found we would have just enough time to grab a cup of coffee before our tour left.   

We could not believe our eyes!  The rocks were actually right in front of us.  The city was built right at the base of the rocks.

At one time, there were 144 Monasteries built here during the 14th century but today only six remain.  We would see them all and be able to visit four of them.   The hermits and Monks came here to find peace, solitude, and be able to worship together.  First we saw some of the very first hermit caves.  Notice that the ladders they used to ascend the rock were pulled up once they got to the cave to keep others from coming up.

Today adjacent to these older dwellings there is one monk who currently lives in this cave dwelling.
 
We were catching glimpses of the monasteries and couldn’t wait to get a closer view.  I know you are anxious to see them too so please take a closer look with us.

Imagine riding around all day here.  We (literally) were in heaven.  It took the monks over twenty years to collect all the building materials from the land below and haul them up to the top.  They would use pulley systems and nets to bring the rocks, the mud, and other building products up.  Then they would begin building which took only a few months.

This is the wine cast the used.

I was particularly delighted to see their cob oven!

It was forbidden to take photos inside the churches but I can share these found in the museums.

These were the Greek Orthodox Monks and their art work is more symbolic.

This one interesting photo requires comment.  Seven years after a monk died,  his remains were uncovered and the Monks would continue to revere them for their work here on earth and be reminded that they would one day be resurrected.

We saw these two Monks downtown Kalambaka while we were having lunch.

This will be such a major memory from our trip to Greece so I decided to read my letter from Lela here.  I will certainly be able to report back to her that we indeed are having FUN!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Frances Bearden says:

    How nice to share your trip through the internet. Thank you for the picture and travel log

    Like

    1. I am happy you are traveling along with us!

      Like

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