I love climbing things. There’s something about using your own two legs to hike up something that makes you feel accomplished and insubstantial all at the same time.
When we were in Greece not so very long ago, we decided to visit the beautiful monasteries of Meteora—
—positioned on spires of stone. Monks moved up onto the rocks for seclusion. Some even going so far as to build themselves homes in the sides of rocks.
Of course the world being what it is, seclusion has been replaced by tourism, but the monasteries are amazing and well worth the visit.
The trick is you have to climb to most of them. And not like a flight or two of stairs. Like a lot, a LOT, of stairs.
Theoretically, you’re supposed to be able to hike between all of the monasteries and visit them in one day…we didn’t do that. We drove our lovely rental car between sites like sensible humans who want to be able to walk the day after their adventure.
The craftsmanship in the monasteries is astounding!
The unbelievable determination and innovation it took to build these huge structures so high up is just ridiculous! First of all, there were cats in some of the monasteries, which we all know I went crazy for. The chapels were gorgeous. (Sorry there are no pictures. Photography in those rooms was forbidden.)
We visited the only monastery that has been taken over by nuns and the largest. We were hot, our legs were tired, and then we decided to find the hidden monastery, which is barely marked on the edge of the map.
I’ll save that story for next time.
To be continued…