[Aug. 2023] Meteora in Greece is famous for its landscape of monasteries perched on top of strangely shaped rocks.
After lunch, we enjoyed these views.
I wasn’t surprised because there are pictures of it being a famous tourist spot, but when you see it with your own eyes, you realise the scale of it and it’s overwhelming.
It is certainly a world heritage site worth seeing.
On our tour we visited two monasteries.
According to our guide Maria, it was at its peak around the 15th century, when there were about 24 to 25 monasteries, but only 6 remain today.
Many of them were destroyed by the Nazis during World War II.
My husband pointed out that the fact that she said “Nazi” instead of “Germany” meant that she must be concerned about German tourists.
There are currently four monasteries open to the public.
In total, there are 21 male monks and about 45 female monks.
What was interesting was that while we were having lunch at the restaurant, Maria was checking out the clothes of the female tour guests.
Short shorts and tank tops are generally prohibited in Catholic churches, but in order for a woman to enter a Greek monastery, she must wear a long skirt.
Long trousers are also not allowed.
Those in trousers must wear loincloths, which are provided by the monastery.
I happened to be wearing culottes of a slightly unusual shape, and when Maria saw them, she said, “As long as you walk with short strides, you should be all right.”
However, at the second nunnery, I was told, “Just in case, you might want to wear a loincloth.”
Even though it has become so popular as a tourist destination, they are quite strict.
This reminded me of the major accounting firm I worked for a long time ago.
When I joined the company, I was told, “It was only recently that women were allowed to wear trousers. In the past, women were required to wear skirts”, which surprised me a lot.
The monasteries we visited were Varlaam Monastery and Agios Stefanos Monastery.
It was funny that before entering the second nunnery, Maria said, “The nuns here are all nice people, so don’t be afraid.”
Once you enter the monasteries, they look just normal.
The only thing that hints at its unique location is the fact that the baskets in which goods were lifted and lowered remained.
Instead, the view of the monastery from a distance and the dramatic scenery when you exited the monastery were amazing.
Unfortunately, the weather on this day was drizzling, and although it was a good thing that it wasn’t too hot, I think the photos weren’t very sharp.
After visiting the nunnery, the tour ended and we returned to the station.
Then, we saw the train we had boarded when we arrived was still parked there.
Apparently it’s one round trip a day.
The train departs at 5:25 p.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Athens at 10:00.
We went to the dining car around 8 o’clock.
However, it’s not pretentious at all; you just buy things at the shop next to the dining car, sit down and eat and drink.
There were two tough-looking old men at the shop, which made me feel a little hesitant.
I would like to say, how about paying a little more attention to the image?
Our dinner on the day consisted of small bottles of white wine, potato chips, and a strange biscuit.
When it got dark and the lights were on on the tables, it did set the mood a little bit.