A random castle we drove by on the way to Meteora.
It's not just the Bulgarians who make their own lanes on the shoulders, so do the Greeks.
Little rascals at the foot of Meteora.
There are more of them!
Goat crossing on the road to Meteora
Trying to catch up with the rest of the guys.
One kid by himself, nibbling away up on top of a bush.
Our first view of Meteora - it was amazing.
What a spectacular sight
I think this is the Ayia Triada Monastery
Ayia Barbara (Roussanou) Monastery - founded in 1288 by the monks Nicodemus and Benedict. It is now inhabited by nuns.
There are 4 monasteries in this photo: Ayia Barbara (Roussanou), Ayios Nikolaos Anapafsas, Megalo Meteoro, and Varlaam
See the line of tourist buses and cars heading toward Varlaam and Megalo Meteoro.
Megalo Meteoro on the left, Varlaam on the right
St. Barbara Roussanou Monastery
(read the last three lines)
Heading up the Roussanou Monastery
The part of the nunnery opened to the public. The church is up here.
The private quarters, not open to the public.
The orderly gardens in the private courtyard.
View from Roussanou
Flags at the top of Roussanou - the right one is the Greek flag, not sure what the left one is
Another view from Roussanou
Inside Roussanou, with one of the camera-shy nuns.
Sean paying our 2 euro/person entrance fee.
Walkway to Varlaam Monastery
Entrance to Varlaam Monastery
Varlaam Monastery was founded by a hermitage, St. Varlaam, in the 14th century. It was rebuilt by two wealthy Ioannina brothers in 1518. The church was reportedly rebuilt in 20 days, after 22 years of slowly accumulating building materials to the top of the rock.
See the cable pulley from the rock on the right to the monastery on the left?
Heading toward the entrance of the monastery
Here's an even closer zoom at him.
The 195 steps up to the Varlaam Monastery.
Sean looking disapprovingly at the people climbing around on the other rocks.
These people apparently do not have a fear of height.
That's St.Barbara Roussanou monastery/nunnery across the way.
The pulley system they use to bring things up to the monastery.
Heading up Varlaam
That's a picture of Saints Iannassas and Athanasios holding up the monastery.
This guy climbed over several rocks to get a good photo of Varlaam. Sean was not about to let me do this also (not that I would've had the nerves to do it anyhow).
This did look cool to sit on top of this rock, but Sean would not even let me have a 2nd thought at it. All I can do is take pictures of other people doing it.
See the guy climbing down from the rock?
Up in Varlaam Monastery
The courtyard inside Varlaam Monastery
View from Varlaam
The bell tower in Varlaam
Cherry trees with cherries hanging down.
Outside the church of the monastery
This is the original building of the monastery
Here he is up close. Sean also saw him, and remembered seeing a sign that said, “Don't pick flowers.”
Flowers he picked from...
This monastery is also known as the Church of the Metamorphosis (Transfiguration).
I took this photo because it was cute & weird to see that huge man in the red shirt picking flowers and going through them.
The monastery was founded and built by St. Athanasios between 1356-1372.
Heading up the Megalo Meteora Monastery
Entrance into Megalo Meteora Monastery
The chapel containing the cell where St. Athanasios once lived.
The pulley system used to bring up supplies to build the monastery and support the monastery, and to bring up the monks.
This was the most popular monastery - it was extremely crowded (making it not so fun).
The carpenter shop
The historical museum - lots of references to WWII, when the Germans tried to invade the Meteora area.
Entrance to the winery
This painting won the 1st Prize of the School of Fine Arts
A chamber stacked with skulls & bones of dead monks.
Look at that horde of tourist groups trampling through. Some of those people were so rude also.
A scroll of religious writing, probably written by St. Athanasios, in the 13th century.
The caption reads, “A German soldier is taken down in an unsuccessful attempt to raise the swastika flag on the rocky Megali Ayia precipice in Meteora.”
Old steps going down
The cooking pot & fire in the old kitchen. It was very dark, but my camera at ISO 1600 was able to show this.
The “oven”, I guess
Old pottery and jugs
Heading to the church of the monastery. The sanctuary was built starting in 1356 by St. Athanasias. The rest of the church was built in 1552.
The tombs of Saints Iosaph and Athanasios are in the church, under exquisite frescoes of various, gruesome martyrdom and persecution of the Saints.
St. Athanasios & St. Iosaph holding up the monastery
Someone is taking a little reading break in the pretty, serene courtyard with birds chirping in the background.
One of the monastery cats making her way across the courtyard.
The town of Kalampaka below
Some Japanese tourists taking a break and enjoying the vistas
Trinh wearing the mandatory skirt (provided by the monastery)
The pulley system to bring supplies up to the monastery
St. George killing the dragon
Ayia Triados (Monastery of the Holy Trinity) - to the right of the sign
Heading up to Ayia Triada
Going up to the monastery
Ayia Triada Monastery - built by the monk Dometius in 1476. Unfortunately, in the early 1980's, thieves stold precious antique icons which have never been recovered.
Flowers on the grounds of Ayia Triada
This monastery was in the James Bond movie, “For Your Eyes Only”. It is the most primitive and remote of the monasteries.
Bells at the top of the monastery rock
The valley of the town Kalampaka
Postcard of Meteora. There are two frescoes in the Megalo Meteoro that I could not take photos of. They show two forms of martyrdom of saints - head cutting, and being boiled alive.
The pulley system up to the monastery
Entering the chapel of the monastery. The chapel is dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
It looks like the Greeks follow the Bulgarian tradition of tying martenitzas at the first sign of spring (seeing the first blossom on a fruit tree or seeing the first stork).
Entrance into the monastery.
The monastery across the way is Varlaam.
Can you find Sean in this group photo?