We left our hotel in Kalabaka this morning after breakfast on the bus and drove to the Meteora. The Meteora is a rock formation in central Greece hosting one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. The six monasteries are built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area.
Our first stop was the Monastery of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity Monastery is situated atop a rock formation over 1,300‘ above the ground. We walked up a circular walkway to get to the top. The church was constructed between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites titled Meteora.
The ropes you see hanging from the top were originally used to hoist the monks and building materials up to the top. It took thirty years to get all the materials to the top and then only a year to build the original monastery. The rope was replaced each time it broke, but in the meantime several monks lost their live in the process.
The walkway and 130 steps were added much later.
To enter the monastery men had to be wearing long pants and women had to be wearing skirts or dresses below their knees. Since Brenda and I were wearing pants, we had to wear these wrap skirts provided by the monks over our pants. What a fashion statement we made.
There beautiful robes were embroidered by some of the monks.
An example of the beautifully painted icons within the monestaryThe women’s toilet!
We boarded the bus again and drove to the St. Stephen’s Nunnery. There were so many tour buses parked along the side of the narrow road. Those drivers have incredible driving skills to get in and out of those narrow places!!!! They would have to pass in places where their rearview mirrors would be about two inches apart as they passed! Incredible.
Here we were given a little more subtle pattern of wrap skirts for our tour!
After the monastery and nunnery we stop at a shop where we were shown how the iconic paintings are created.