Savoring the Sunset at Greece’s Meteora Monasteries

 

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” – Mahatma Gandhi 

As we looked out into the sea of dramatic rock formations being gently highlighted by the lemon chiffon-colored setting sun, our Greek host George asked the five of us to observe two minutes of silence.

Up until then, we’d been oohing and aahing about the monasteries perched atop the sheer rocks, perpetually clicking our cameras’ shutters, and continuing conversations started while dining together al fresco with our new Greek and Italian traveling companions.

Now the moment was more serene and contemplative. I noticed the birds dancing in the sky, high above the monasteries’ terracotta rooftops. My attention was drawn to the contours of the rock formations, and the gentle gusts of wind, tickling my cheeks. I was again reminded of how lucky we were to be in such a special place, and I understood why the name Meteora means ‘suspended in air’ in Greek.

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Hiking to Greece’s Majestic Meteora Monasteries

It is a perfect marriage of nature and of manmade beauty. Crowning the tops of otherworldly rock formations are Eastern Orthodox monasteries, some constructed more than 700 years ago. Built by monks who were trying to escape persecution, there were once more than 20 monasteries. Over the centuries, however, weather and neglect took their toll, leaving today’s six active monasteries, several that are closed to the public, and others in ruins.

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Photo du Jour: The Meteora Rock Climber – Greece

 

“It’s not just a question of conquering a summit previously unknown, but of tracing, step by step, a new pathway to it.” Gustav Mahler

Look carefully at the top of the dramatic, finger-like rock formation, and you’ll see a tiny human silhouette.

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