Travel Journal

Meteora - Dominus up high

(Saturday 13 November 2010) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 92 -- 11/4/10 Meteora
Checking out of our hotel, we caught the local bus again to the bus station and boarded the long distance bus that would take us to Meteora. I hadn’t really done much research on this leg of the trip and it showed after we arrived at the bus station and discovered our hotel was still 25 kilometers away. We were told to take a local bus for this leg although we were tempted by a local car rental agency at the station. We opted for the bus and the driver was nice enough to drop us off in front of our hotel. I’m not really sure that was on the route as everyone else exited at the town center.
Checking in, we discovered from the clerk who didn’t speak much English that there would be a bus that drove past the monasteries stopping at each for a half hour and that was the best way to see them. The trouble was we were only planning to stay the night and had booked a ferry out of Athens the next day and reserved a room the next night on another island. Undaunted we called for a cab and threw our packs in our room and headed up to the highest monastery which also was the one most recommended for touring.
It wasn’t that far, perhaps 8 kilometers away from the hotel, and the cab dropped us off at the big monastery. We were fortunate it was open and after climbing up the steps, paying a small fee, and getting a skirt for Julie, entered the building. Since it is a working monastery, certain areas are completely off limits and there are limited times that the building is even open to the public. The chapel which had no photography allowed was vibrant with colors and the frescos and painting had a decided modern style to them. The kitchen and dining room were showcases for the visitor which gave me a theme park feeling. I was interesting but I hardly think it was indicative of monastery life.
We started working our way down the road hoping to visit at least another monastery as there were five in the area, but all the other ones were close either for the entire day or it was later after their closing time. Regardless, it was amazing to see these buildings perched on the rocks like a toad on a mushroom. The walk back to the hotel was long but not strenuous as the entire way was down hill.

We went to the nearby train station to check the times for return to Athens the following day and to see if it would dovetail with our ferry departure. There was a train at six that should work so we made plans for that. We walked around the town getting a sandwich and frequenting several bakery shops for deserts along the way. The town square had a lot of activity going on with stands and sound systems being set up and we asked if they were planning music or dancing that night but a workman explained election were that Sunday so local politicians were having a debate. He summed up the situation perfectly with, “no music, no dance; only blah, blah, blah.”
The next morning we splurged on a taxi as we didn’t want to walk the two miles to the train station with full backpacks.

  • beautifull by nellie gillogly

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