A person living in a cave

A person living in a cave

[Aug. 2023] Tour of Meteora, a world heritage site in Greece, has begun.

First, the guide explained this unique rocky landscape.

rocks in Meteora, Greece
rocks used to be at the bottom of a lake

It is said that the rocks that were at the bottom of a lake in ancient times rose up over a period of several hundred years, which is much quicker than usual.

It is a rock made of sandstone and limestone, and the only places like it in Europe are Montserrat in Spain and the Dolomites in Italy, and this one is the largest in scale.

Later I thought it looked similar to German Bastei, too, but maybe the type of rock was different(?).

It is said that the wind created caves here and there in these rocks, and in time hermits began to live there.

Our guide, Maria, took us to a place where there is a monk who still live in a cave.

This 93-year-old monk’s “home” reportedly has electricity and a television.

the comfortable looking house of the 93 year-old monk in the cave in Meteora, Greece
he has electricity in his cave house

However, she said that the WIFI was not installed.

At 93 years old, it seems that he does not browse the internet.

Until recently, this man used to come down to the small St. Mary’s Church in the neighbourhood to celebrate mass, but in recent years he has become too old and has stopped leaving his home.

I’m sure the helpers are taking care of him.

Near this man’s cave, there were also the remains of the cave of the last hermit who died.

According to Maria, her father used to skip school and hide in these caves when he was a child.

The entrance door to St. Mary’s Church, where the monk used to hold mass, is small not only because believers crouch down to show respect, but also to cut off the heads of enemies who try to enter.

picture of Virgin Mary, pregnant with Christ at Saint Mary Church near the cave house in Meteora, Greece
Virgin Mary in blue with Christ

It’s a pretty bloody church.

She explained that you can tell who the church is dedicated to by the picture of a saint above the door, and this one depicts the Virgin Mary wearing blue, the noble colour.

The Christ in white clothes is depicted floating on Mary’s belly, which is represent that Mary is pregnant with Christ.

This reminded me of seeing a painting called “Our Lady of Childbirth” in a village in Tuscany, Italy, several years ago.

From here, the tour suddenly heads to a restaurant.

the meatballs and rice lunch in the takeaway container in Meteora
we ate fast from this takeaway container

The instructions we received didn’t mention meals, so we were prepared to fast.

We ate the food in the restaurant in a takeaway container so that we could eat it quickly and take the leftovers onto the bus.

Well organised.

We chose the meatballs and rice set, along with a glass of chilled red wine, and the cost for two people was €26.

The meatballs had a mild familiar flavour, just like the ones my husband would make.