UNESCO – Meteoras II: The Monasteries

Although you know how much I love to snorkel and be in- (and under-)water, this year we chose a holiday destination which wasn’t famous for it’s amazing marine biodiversity (like the destinations of years before), but for it’s close location to some of the places we wanted to visit and experience for a while now: the boat trip to Skiathos, the infamous geological formations known as the Meteoras, and hiking in Mount Olympus. You’ve already read about our first experiences, here’s a little summary of our one-day trip to the breathtaking Meteoras.

As you could read in the previous post, our journey started in the early morning with a stop at Zindros Icons, and since the museum offered a “taste” of the Meteoras with a captivating view, we were even more eager and excited to finally get to our destination. I have to tell you the weather wasn’t the best that day, so our photos didn’t come out as nice as they would’ve if it hadn’t rained.

Wikipedia says: The Metéora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos – no wonder it’s a must ! Because the trip we took through a travel company was so religion-oriented, we had two monastery visits scheduled for the day (of the total of six monasteries “suspended in the air” – the meaning of Meteora in Greek), the first was Holy Varlaam Monastery, one of the most-visited ones:

The bus dropped us off right at the entrance, but we still had to climb a few steps to the Monastery itself. There were a lot of buses outside so we kind of figured in advance that there will be a big crowd awaiting us. We didn’t even have to reach the entrance, because there were a bunch of people hurrying towards the ticket counter. The entrance wasn’t included in the trip’s fee, so we had to pay for it separately, before entering, and those who didn’t wear long pants or didn’t have their shoulders covered were given pieces of clothing to cover themselves (I grabbed a long skirt along the way).

This wasn’t only a small little praying-place, but quite a big complex which had a church, a few museums, a souvenir shop inside. We had an hour to look around, but I have to admit that I was more preoccupied with capturing the view of the formations from each angle the monastery provided, and breathing in the beautiful surroundings, so I just rushed through the museum and church.

Below you can find some objects from the museum which I’m not quite sure we were officially allowed to photograph, but still, here they are:

And a photo of another smaller monastery, with fewer tourists – the Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas:

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