It was our first night train…and our first “standing up” train as well! By the time we got at Larissa train station in Athens, there was no seat left to Meteora! I guess, no problem…we can seat on the floor!
Well, it wasn’t that easy… as we got in the train we tried to find a comfy place to arrange out bags and ourselves, just like many other people without a seat! We found this little corner that seemed great… untill we discovered it was the bathroom door!
When it was 5 AM and we couldn’t seat on the floor any longer and neither stand up….we arrived in Kalambaka, and from there we took a taxi to Meteora.
It was an amazing and most peaceful feeling ever….we were exhausted but happy to be there! After some rest at San Giorgio Hostel we went for the tracks to visit the “suspended in the air” monasteries!
Meteora is the largest and most important complex of Orthodox monasteries in Greece. The monasteries were built on rock pillars and are considered a UNESCO heritage site. It’s a very spiritual place, very calm and perfect to relax!
The paths were pretty easy o get around to the main monasteries: the Great Meteora, Holy Monastery of Varlaam and Holy Monastery of St Nicholas. Be ready to go up in many stairs! As the monasteries are up on the rocks, the only way to go up there is by the stairs. In formal times the system was a bit different, there was a rope attached with a net that pull people and goods up to the monasteries. A curious thing about that, the ropes were only replaced “when the Lord let them break”…so I guess you gotta have had some faith to go up there!
We enjoyed the place so much that we decided to spend 2 more days to relax and put our stuff together before Athens.
The train back to Athens was great, with our own seats things felt better. In Athens we had our first experience in Airbnb which was great to have “our own studio” for a couple of days.
Athens was as expected…big city with many historical sites! We visited the Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, Plaka, Parthenon, Ancient Agora, Arch of Hadrian, Syntagma square among others. It’s quite easy to get around by metro or walking around.
Since it was the first time we’ve been in Athens, we can’t really tell how much the financial crisis had affected the city…but we experienced some conversations with greek people complaining about how much fewer tourists they had the past years and we also could see at some restaurants the term “Crisis dinner” in the Menu.
Greece is a nice country, with breathtaking islands, very rich culture, and full…full of History!
After 3 months travelling around Europe, it’s time now to say good bye…our trip is now moving to another stage…Africa and Asia! I’m just so excited about Asia, I’m sure it will be more than special!
Next stop: Egypt!!!