[The Roussanou Monastery]
This’ll be my last Greece post…BUT OH MAN you should 10000000% go to Meteora if you’re in Greece. I don’t care how out of the way it is for you (It’s about a 5 hour bus/train ride from Athens), or how little time you have – YOU. NEED. TO. GO. Like stop what you’re doing right now, buy a ticket to Greece, and go to Meteora. Then probably an island, because it wouldn’t be a trip to Greece without going to one.
Okay, actually, maybe read this guide first – THEN buy your ticket.
[View from a random stroll in Trikala]
[Another interesting thing about Trikala (and Athens, too), was the amount of graffiti. Can anyone enlighten me about it?]
As far as where to stay, we stayed in Trikala instead of Kalamabaka. It’s a lot more expensive to stay in Kalambaka, and more touristy. Trikala is more authentic, and only a cheap 20-30 minute bus ride away! We stayed in Hostel Meteora for only about 10 euro a night, and I thought it was really nice.
It takes another 30 mins to walk from the bus stop in Kalambaka to Meteora, and you can just follow the signs. We definitely did A LOT of walking, and were both exhausted when the day was over – we’d planned to stay for sunset and watch it but then the weather started to turn (yes, there are thunderstorms in the summer there), and we were both pretty dead. So I think we headed back around 4 or so.
Meteora is hands down one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. Basically, during the 14th century, a monk brought his followers to Meteora where a group of hermits were living. The monks ended up employing the hermits to teach them to climb the gigantic mountains, and built the Great Meteoran Monastery. Later, more monks escaped persecution by fleeing to Meteora, and erected more monasteries to reside in. They built over 24, but today only 6 remain. For more information on each individual monastery, go here.
[Closer view of The Roussanou Monastery]
At first, Andrew wasn’t too impressed and I was worried I’d made the wrong decision. BUT THEN. We saw the first Monastery and it was like, OMG. So freaking beautiful and awe inspiring and amazing and just holy moly mackerel. Those monks sure knew what they were doing when they decided to build those monasteries there, man.
The monasteries cost 3 euro to go into, and they provide cloths for you to wear if you’re not wearing appropriate clothing (read: shoulders and knees covered). You can enter all 6 of the monasteries, but certain ones are closed on certain days (the biggest one was closed when we went, which I was a little bummed about), so check beforehand here!
For bus/train timetables and info from Athens to Meteora, go here. Definitely purchase your ticket online, as it’s cheaper, and don’t forget to use that student discount if you have a valid ID!
Basically, go to Meteora. Like yesterday.
[View once you’re at the base of the mountains, after walking out of the monastery area of Meteora]
[Walking back into town; obsessed with the rolling green hills]