Meteora on Google Maps
The way to Meteora
On the way to Athens from Thessaloniki I decided to visit Meteora. The fact that they are indexed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List is something that doesn’t surprises me. Turning right on the highway towards Kalambaka, after a while I found in front of me the huge rocks of Meteora dominating the green landscape.
I continued driving and Meteora increasingly became larger as I approached. My mood was very good and I wanted to feel the freedom that the mountains always generously give me. So I decided to take a long walk and and lucky enough I was wearing my trekking shoes.
I climbed into one of the monasteries. Just six out of more than twenty are inhabited nowadays. Instead of heading to visit the area I proceeded on to the summit of the gigantic sandstone rock.
As I have no particular fear of heights – nor any desire to dive in the void- I stood at one point that felt comfortable for me. Some people might have thought that I was nuts, but I was at a safe distance from the cliff. We all have our own perception of heights, fear and safety.
What I was seeking to feel, I felt it with my entire soul. In a moment, as I was gazing down the valley and at the other huge rocky boulders with monasteries built on their tops, I saw a hawk -actually I first hear the bird- flying towards me, probably going to his nest. I cannot explain it, but I felt almost as if I were that hawk. It make me feel so free for a moment, as if I was the flying.
No boundaries, no chains to matter, no nothing. I was just me, standing there. Period, Perhaps this is also a reason for a man or a woman to find such a place and become a monk. To find within his soul God and to feel free. Maybe. I am not sure.
The monasteries in Meteora are a place of attraction for many tourists and pilgrims, as alongside the amazing Byzantine buildings, churches, relics and tradition, the landscape is more than excellent. It’s not just attractive to the eyes. It’s literally breathtaking. As for the monasteries, they’re undeniably worth visiting.
The paintings, the surrounding environment, the lighted yellow candles in the semi dark of a chapel, the sweet smell of burning incense combine together to a unique experience. The whole place within its silence becomes ideal for internal search and spiritual quest. Meteora along Mount Athos in Chalkidiki, are considered extremely important complex of monasteries in the Greek peninsula.
Climbing to the monastery that I chose, I saw on the way a group of mountaineers climbing the huge rocks with ropes. I can only imagine the unbelievable images their eyes must have seen and their cameras capture.
I have to tell you that this place has something spiritually very special. Is it the evocative religious feeling because of the monasteries or is it just me? What I know is that I inexplicably felt something very “inner” inside myself. It was surprising, mainly because I was not seeking this kind of experience.
At night I slept in a beautiful hotel in Kalambaka which is very close, and I ate (I apologize to my vegetarian readers) amazing extra tasty juicy chops, fried potatoes, sausages and I had a couple of beers. Of course you can have amazing dishes made with vegetables, Greek cheese and more tasty ingredients.
As the hotel was not far away I walked my way back and specifically towards my pillow. My day was full of bright events and now it was time for Morfeas, god of sleep to make his job and take me on his night trip.
My strength after this long day had to be replenished and bed undertook this important task. In the morning while eating my breakfast and sipping my coffee, I turned on my camera to see the photos from the day before. Beautiful pictures. Colorful, sharp, amazing pics. Really! But for the true experience, you must come here!
If an internal little voice tells you that Meteora is for you, take a look here for information on the options you have to visit the place either with an organized tour or by hiring a car.
you might be interested to
the 14-day Magnificient Greece Tour or to discover other great attractions in Greece. Check the unique Greek Islands Cultural Travel Guide Zeus Guide or see and extended version of “Best things to do in Greece” at What to do during your Greece Vacation