Greek Holiday Stop 5

View of the valley floor and the Monastery of Rousanou

The Monastery of Varlaam

The Monastery of Great Meteoron

The Monastery of St. Stephen and view of the city Kalabaka (Καλαμπάκα) on the valley floor.

Read more about this amazing place starting with the Wikipedia page

I took the 10:15 bus from Ιωάννινα to Βολός. This route got me to Καλαμπάκα at about 13:00. Scenery on the way to Καλαμπάκα was an endless succession of valley views along the highway that winds through this mountainous region. I am not sure you would see more in a rental car, for I didn’t see any scenic turnouts nor wide shoulders on the highway to allow photo stops. Nevertheless, its a nice drive. Just be prepared to take an exit if you want some trophy shots.

The bus dropped me off on the side of a road next to what looked like an abandoned railroad. I did not realize until much later that there is a working train station just a few yards ahead. This drop off point did not work with the direction to the hostel I was given from My first reaction was to head straight into a bakery across the street. I bought a simple bread and asked for directions. After a few tries, the third store clerk understood where I wanted to go. I still did not get a complete direction because they did not know the new hostel where I booked my stay, but I got enough to find the main road in town.

I found the Meteora Central Hostel, dropped off my backpack, and hopped on the 14:00 bus that took me from the town square to the Monastery of Great Meteoron. I took my time to visit this monastery and the Monastery of Varlaam. I then walked over to the farthest monastery on the hilltop road to find a hiking path to go back down into town. I did not find the path. I did see where the cars would go: img_3395

After waiting around for an unimpressive sunset, I started walking towards the 5KM road back to the hostel. I did not go very far before two women offered me a ride. They were from Israel on a mission to visit scenes in the 2008 movie “Mama Mia” starring Meryl Streep and others. The driver said that the sight of me walking alone on the side of the road reminded her of her son currently backpacking in Australia. She said her son is probably just like me – content to walk alone instead of asking for a ride at every opportunity. Hopefully some nice people in Australia will offer to give her son a lift when he is walking alone.

On the second morning I walked around town and found the hiking trail to the top of Meteora. The trail ends in the middle of the path to The Monastery of the Holy Trinity (Agia Trias). You cannot see it from the road that connects the monasteries on hill top.

The path to the Monastery of Rousanou is shaded.

I decided to take it easy after the morning hike that registered about 7 miles on my iPhone.

I order a moussaka and ouzo for lunch just to try out something local other than souvlaki. Apparently this anise flavored drink is just what Greek people would prescribe to assure a nice long siesta.


Back to the index page for my travel in Greece series.


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