Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Easy Alliteration: Monks at the Meteora Monasteries

Anyone who understood the reference I made in the title of my first post may have an idea of my love for James Bond movies…so imagine my excitement when I learned we would be visiting the monasteries featured in the film “For Your Eyes Only”! Even though my visions of rappelling up the sides of cliffs—or even using the baskets they used before stairs were built—never came to fruition, it was still an awesome experience. Misty weather and eerie quiet combined to make a perfect setting for viewing the Byzantine art and breathtaking scenery of the three monasteries we toured. The whole place exuded an atmosphere of mystery and timelessness.
The monasteries were all similar in purpose and design, but each had unique features that set it apart from the others. For instance, Egypt and I were made to wear these super classy shapeless skirts at every monastery, but they all featured different designs! The last one was so stylish it could have been mistaken for a tablecloth at a funeral.
As far as the actual monasteries were concerned, the first one we visited (Megalo Meteoro) was the largest and had some interesting displays and exhibits about its history. At the second monastery, we met someone in the process of becoming a monk who talked with us at length about the church and the Greek Orthodox religion. The third monastery, Agia Triada, was the smallest and quietest. We enjoyed walking around on the grounds outside the church and admiring the view of Meteora below.
I’d like to say we zip-lined down on the cable car wires and ended the day sipping vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred)—but I think our slightly more realistic hike back to town and stop at a café for Greek coffee was equally lovely.

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