meteora, greece

Meteora, Greece

From the time I was small I’ve been hearing about a place in the Greek interior, dotted with impossibly high rock outcroppings, each crowned by a monastery. My father visited the area known as Meteora, “middle of the sky”, in the 70s and described it vividly. In my mind it became mythical—bearded orthodox monks in long robes loomed on craggy cliff-tops like wizards.

Geologists explain that 60 million years ago the large Meteora valley was a sea bed, but earth quakes caused the water to withdraw leaving the mountains to be battered by wind and waves sculpting the dramatic pillars. The sandstone peaks were settled by Greek Ortodox clergy from the 11th century on, chosen for their inaccessibility which shielded against marauders, and today 6 UNESCO-protected monasteries remain.

Detail of copper engraving by the monk, Parthenios of Meteora, circa 1782On our way to Lefkada, where our sailing trip would begin, we’d finally have the to chance to visit Meteora. In reality,  the place was not exactly a mystery ripped out of a fantasy book and has become quite well-travelled since the 70s. None the less, the landscape is a gasp-inducing sight, one populated with visitors instead of wizards. It’s definitely possible to find some solitary spots, and then the view really is transporting.

When the sun begins to dip, the area becomes increasingly quiet. So we took the opportunity to slink along a cliff edge and watch the landscape transform. A haze blurred any signs of modern life on the horizon and the rocks began to take on unearthly forms. And after a few beers, which we were smart enough to bring along, the fantasy of Meteora was revived once again.

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UnaMeteora, Greece

Comments

    1. Author
      Una

      It’s a breathtaking place! Hope you get to visit some day soon Athewa. And probably if you avoid the summer season you can skip the tourist crowds too.

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