Day 8: Meteora
Friday, May 28th, 1999
the day touring the cliff top monasteries of Meteora. This place is
unbelievable. To imagine how the monks were able to construct such places is
baffling. We walk from monastery to monastery, a total of six in all that we
were able to visit. We chat with the local monks and sisters along the way.
Within the monasteries, women are expected to cover their legs and men are
expected to wear pants and long-sleeved shirts. Skirts are supplied to visitors
without proper attire.
We are exhausted after all the climbing and decide to head into the village of Kastaki, just outside of Meteora. After lunch we continue on our journey.
Driving west, we stop at a neat little village called Metsovo. It is located on the side of a mountain and the scenery looks as if it is a life-sized postcard. At one of the local tavernas we stop to take pictures in front of a spit where the chef is preparing a local favorite, sheep intestines.
We head toward Ioannina and decide to tour the mountain villages to the north. Just north and west of Ionnina, we head out on a gravel road to view the Nikos Gorge in the Zagoria Mountains. When we reach the end of the road, there is nothing but a cobblestone walkway leading into the forest. It's raining out so I volunteer to scout ahead to see what is out there. After a brisk 200 meter jog, I emerge to a small opening in the trees. To my shock and amazement, I am standing 2 feet from a ledge that drops of for more than 1000 feet into the gorge below. I am literally standing above the clouds! The view is incredible and for a moment I am frozen in place. I head back to the car and through winded speech, I inform the family that this is something they have to see.
After spending some time viewing the gorge, well everyone but dad, we jump back in the car and begin heading south. Passing through Ionnina and Arta, we stop at a small village on the coast called Menidi. We locate a great little hotel called The Delphini. It is a relatively new building and the rooms are only $35 a night. We have dinner on the waterfront at a great little restaurant. The menu consists of seafood only, which is fine with us. We split a giant snapper and turn in for the night.