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Day 8 – Meteora (and then back to Athens!)
Well, today was transition day number two!
This blog will pretty much highlight one area – Meteora, Greece. We awoke from our wonderful hotel (Hotel Amalia) in Kalambaka, had a wonderful breakfast, packed up the buses, and then headed into some mountains.
But trust me, these aren’t ordinary or average mountains.
Centuries ago, different Orthodox Christians began building monasteries at the top of these massive rock bluffs in Meteora. Each one (either a male monastery or a nunnery for women) is dedicated to a different saint. Based on the schedule for the day, we were able to visit two of them. The first stop, a nunnery. Here’s a picture.
Yes, that’s the one on the left there. Inside these buildings are beautiful Orthodox paintings and other items (even a room full of the skeletons of deceased monks). Remember when I was talking about the beautiful paintings in the chapel dedicated to Lydia near the river in Philippi? Well, inside this nunnery are paintings from the same artist. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but if you go back to Day 6 you’ll see an example.
After finishing touring the nunnery, we drove to a sightseeing area where Dr. John spoke on a bit of church history.
With the majority of Greece being Greek Orthodox, it’s important that we know what this kind of Christianity is. Because we went to these monasteries on Sunday, there were loads of local Greek people who were sincerely crossing their chests, kissing the glass covered icons, and then placing their forehead on the glass as well.
From there we went to another massive monastery. There isn’t much to say about it. It was beautiful, but again, no pictures were allowed inside the actual building. I took a picture from the monastery looking down on the city of Kalambaka though, just to give you another idea of where we were.
And here’s a picture of myself at one of the sightseeing areas. The loverly Shiela Biggerstaff asked if I wanted a photo of myself and my usual response is “No, it’s okay!” But I let her do it. I want you to know that I actually was here! No, that’s not true. But here it is anyway!
After that we ate a delicious lunch (I had very tender lamb and rice) and began our three hour drive to Athens. Upon arriving in Athens, we quickly unpacked, ate some dinner, and then listened to Phil Callaway give his last message. Always funny, always good. And of course the Wiebe’s led us in some music beforehand which was also great.
Tomorrow we rise early, pack up, and head to the ocean. We’re walking on a ship and crossing to Ephesus (in modern day Turkey).
Alright, I have to get some sleep!
P.S. – The ship may or may not have good wifi, so there may be a day or two without hearing from me. But I promise I’ll get back to you when I can and fill you in with everything!