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Published: July 25th 2010
Smiling in Meteora
with Roussanou Nunnery in background
After almost 3 weeks in South Africa seeing 5 World Cup Matches, Kruger Safari, Stellenbosch Wine Festival, Great White Sharks, as well as side trips to the small countires of Lesotho and Swaziland, it was time to make our way back home. "On the way back", we had a 4 night lay over in Greece. We had already stayed in Athens for 2 nights on our way to South Africa, so daddy wanted to somewhere else. While most travellers head for the islands, we headed north. Daddy had read about a place that looked like it was out of a fairy tale and thought we would both enjoy it. It was called Meteora and it was located about 4-5 hours north of Athens. It consisted of 6 monasteries that were on top of these interesting mountains, some very isolated, and looked like they were coming out of or part of the mountain. We wanted to see what they looked like in person.
So we arrived at the airpork, picked up our rent a car (which we called the banana as it was a very yellow small car) and started driving. Daddy was glad to be driving on the right side
of the road again as well as sunset being well after 900pm. We arrived in Kalampaka, which is at the base of the mountains of Meteora sometime after 800pm. It was beautiful. Our hotel was right at the base of the mountains with an incredible view from the balcony. Definitely the nicest room we had stayed in on the trip so far. The owner and other worker were very nice.
While our teams were out of the World Cup, there were still a few games left, and tonight we were off to the town's center to watch Holland play Germany. I wanted Germany to win since it was a country I new of as I was there last summer Berlin, Germany
Daddy was rooting for Holland since they never won the World Cup before. We took the really interesting walk down these old streets to the town center. There were so many cute little restaurant and bars that were showing the game on big screen TV's outside. We picked one, ordered some food and watched the game. Daddy gave me a Germany jersey to wear that a good German friend of his, Ralf, had given him many years ago. I
Me at Megalo Meteora
with Varlaam in background
wore it for a lot of the game, but just as I took it off, Holland scored. They ended up winning the game 1-0. It was late and time to head back as we had a big day the next day.
The next day we spent exploring meteora. It was AWESOME and just like we imagined, it looked straight out of a fairy tale. We first drove to St. Nikolaos Anapafsas. We walked up a big hill/steps and then reached it. It was so cool inside and looked like a castle. The views from the top were incredible. We relaxed there for a while and then made our way back to the car. Our next stop was Roussanou and this one looked really cool as it was hard to see where the mountain ended and the building began. It had a cool bridge and many neat rooms. I had fun in a little patio meditating, smelling flowers and playing with daddy.
We stopped by the next one, Varlaan, but it was closed on Thursdays so we could not go inside. However, we got up real close. The next one we went to was the biggest....Megal Meteora. Luckily we
Unfortunately, it was closed on Thursdays but it was very cool to look at.
got there before the big tour groups. To get there we crossed a bridge, then went through a cave, then up a lot of stairs. This place had museums and other special rooms. We ate lunch on the patio with a great view. I loved all the cats as there were too many to count. I think it looked like a castle, but then again, so did the other ones we saw. As we left, hundreds of tourists arrived, we were so lucky we beat them.
We then drove to some places with amazing views. Daddy had me take a picture that made him look like he was falling off the mountain. After I took the picture and looked at it, it REALLY scared me. Daddy was surprised how much it scared me, but promised to never do it again. We then drove by Agia Trias. This monastery looked the most isolated as it was on top this really cool looking mountain, but unfortunately, Like Varlaan, it was closed on Thursdays. We finally drove to the last monastery, Agios Stefanos. We arrived at 200pm and they were closed for lunch until 300pm. As we had seen so much and
Vuvuzela for Germany
Getting ready to go to town to watch the Semifinal. View from our balcony
had so much fun, we decided to drive back to Kalampaka and spend the day in town and go shopping. Daddy bought me some bracelets and a Greek outfit to wear for my school picture. I had worn oufits from India and Vietnam the last few years, so it was time for an outfit from this trip.
After playing in the playground next to the hotel, we went out for dinner. We ate at Paramithi Tavern. The owner was really nice and we had a lot of fun there. The food was great and I met some people sitting at the table next to me. We both really liked the relaxed town of Kalambaka and our trip to Meteora was great!
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