Greece
Kalambaka

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36 travelers at this place

  • Day103

    Kalambaka

    December 23, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Am Sonntag kam ich in Kalambaka (seit dem 10. Jahrhundert unter dem Namen Stagi bekannt) an. Und an diesem Tag hat es tatsächlich geregnet :) Ich erkundete trotzdem den Ort, besichtigte die Kirche Kimisis Theotokou aus dem 11. Jahrhundert und machte es mir im Hostel gemütlich. Außerdem schmiedete ich Pläne für dir kommenden Tage.Read more

  • Day14

    Naar Kalambaka!

    July 4, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Vanmorgen nog lekker ontbeten en weer onderweg naar onze volgende stop Kalambaka. Onderweg nog een heel mooie oude brug gezien en nog naar een dorpje geweest. Nog met de bewoners gezellig gekletst. Mooie omgeving en weer totaal anders dan bij de kloof. Eind van de middag bij ons hotel aangekomen. Prachtig uitzicht op de hoge rotsen. Wel een beetje ver van het centrum.Read more

  • Day13

    Loving the monasteries

    October 14, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Meteora has six medieval monasteries all within an 11 km circuit from our base of Kalambaka. Bus groups leave early, forge ahead and get their visits done in time for lunch at a big taverna. We are lucky to have two days, and also to have brought snacks along for eating up there, so we had no rush to finish it all in one day before lunch. Not very efficient, I guess, but really lovely. Between 10 and 4 today, we visited three monasteries, climbed 60 floors according to my phone, and just pulled off to walk and enjoy the views wherever we were. All have chapels covered with murals, many of which could use a benefactor for restoration, but all of which just ooze with humanity and devotion.

    Just a totally great day, except for witnessing one uncomfortable nasty exchange between a French tourist and a nun who was insisting she put on a wrap around skirt before going into one monastery. I also think that it’s silly that men can wear pants but women have to cover their pants with a skirt they give you. But IMHO the monastery is the one that gets to call the shots and I was kind of amazed at this woman’s rudeness. Aside from that, the rest of the day was filled with a lot of peace, I even got to light some real (not electric) candles to think about my mom, the rest of my family, and my many friends with all sorts of health struggles.
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  • Day12

    Travel day

    October 13, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    We slept in a bit, since today was a travel day. We were headed north about 300 kms, to an area called Meteora, where there are six monasteries dating as far back as far as the 11th century, all of which are perched on rocks, high above.

    All started well, till our phone couldn’t give any directions. Turns out I hadn’t downloaded a map that went far enough north to get us to Meteora. As google maps gave out, and things were looking very complicated, I decided to go to a Shell station to ask for directions. The very wonderful Marieta from Bulgaria, who spoke perfect English, was working there. She couldn’t give me directions but offered me something better — Wifi!!! So I downloaded more Greece maps, and off we went.

    Our hotel has a “fitness center”, but I bet no one has used it in years or ever. Nothing was working, but after a lot of help from one of the maintenance people, the bicycle was sort of working. The elliptical, no way. Oh well, since I was in the same room as the indoor pool, I was sweating in no time!

    We have two full days here, and we will take it at a relaxed pace. It is an amazing site.
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  • Day14

    More monasteries in Meteora

    October 15, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Since we hadn’t crammed all of the monasteries into one day, we still had two we wanted to visit. We asked at the desk for suggestions to round out the day, and presto, we had another great day. First, Nikolas suggested we walk, not drive, to the first monastery. We took the original centuries old stone walking path from about a mile away and hiked up through shady forests — a much nicer arrival than just pulling up in a rented car and parking!

    After visiting the two monasteries, we then took his tip to take a detour that would bring us to a place where we could see several more monasteries in ruins, as well as many hermit caves (occupied till the 1950s!). It was quiet, and kind of surreal — the caves still had wooden ladders dangling down outside of them, but no human habitation anywhere. A really nice way to end the day. We ran into one German family there, and we all remarked on how nice it was to get away from the tourist destinations for a bit.

    We have had excellent meals here — just going to TripAdvisor’s top rated places has served us well everywhere we have been so far. Here in Kalambaka we have been to numbers 3 and 5, and tonight we will drive to number 1! Lots of good vegetables, salads, yoghurt dips, grape leaves, we are eating very well.
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  • Day104

    Perfektes Wander-Weihnachten

    December 24, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Was für ein wundervolles Weihnachten.
    Dimitrios, ein griechischer junger Mann, lebt schon lange in Kalambaka und kennt die Wälder und Umgebung wie seine Westentasche. Er machte mit mir eine vierstündige Tour. Wir wanderten, meditierten und er erzählte mir viele historische und persönliche Hintergründe zu Kalambaka und Meteora.
    Wir erklommen ziemlich hohe Felsen. Nach dieser Reise bin ich mit meiner Höhenangst-Konfrontations-Therapie wohl ziemlich durch :) Ich bin sogar über eine Felsspalte gesprungen ;P
    Am Abend ging ich zu Feier des Tages essen. Am Nachbartisch saß eine griechische Großfamilie und hat mich die ganze Zeit mit einbezogen, so dass ich auch da nicht alleine war.
    Am nächsten Tag nahm mich Dimitrios mit dem Auto mit ins Nachbardorf. Die Griechen feiern nämlich am 25. Weihnachten. Weshalb von Kalambaka nach Trikala (von dort aus fuhr der Bus zu meinem nächsten Ziel Lamia) an dem Tag kaum ein öffentliches Verkehrsmittel unterwegs war.
    In Trikala verbrachte ich den Tag noch mit Kaffee- und Teetrinken und machte mich am Abend mit dem Bus auf nach Lamia. Die Griechen scheinen ihr Weihnachtsfest erst am Abend zu Hause zu feiern. Alle Cafés waren voll. Überall wurde gegessen und getrunken.
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  • Day20

    Meeting nuns in the air

    September 5, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    We have booked a day tour today to view and walk through the magestic Monasteries of Meteora.

    I have, in the past, seen pictures of these ancient buildings sitting high atop of sheer mountains. But I always thought they were located in Nepal and thus unobtainable.

    During my planning for this trip, I discovered they are in the north of Greece. Woo hoo, I am damn well going to see that!!

    Thanassi kindly collected us at 6.15am and dropped us at Larissis station. We all enjoyed a coffee and croissants whilst Thanassi and Athena chatted away in greek.

    Then our train arrives at 7.10 am and we say goodbye to Thanassi with big hugs.

    Luckily we have a first class carriage and we settle in for a 4.5 hour ride.
    I read and look out the window at the flat land and little farmlets.

    Finally the train is speeding toward the mountains. I get excited when I spy the unusual sheer drop mountain structures of the monastries and stick my face to the window.

    We arrive at Kalabaka station at 11:30am. A small country station in a one street town.

    The small tour buses are lined up ready for their groups.
    Ours is called 'Meteora Thrones' it is purple so I will easily remember it. Nick is our guide.

    I am in awe of this scenery. My head is upward trying to spot a red terracotta roof atop of these rock columns.

    In the 1300's the monks lived in the caves in the side of the mountains, but a leading monk told them to build up top of the rock so people would see how close they are to god and want to join Christianity.

    Our first stop was 'St Nicholas' Monastery.

    Athena and I walked up a steep cobblestone hill with much effort, then tackled the stone stairway on the side of the rock. Athena needed plenty of assistance but we got there.

    At a small pokey entrance we handed over our 3 euro to the monk, chucked our shawls on and went to explore.

    Inside was still pokey. We walked through cosy little rooms with long wooden benches and Byzantine religious artworks. The brick walls featuring throughout. Little rooms went off here and there like a maze.

    Once we got outside to the covered balcony, the view was amazing. You can see far and wide so high up.

    The Greek word, 'Meteora', means 'suspended in the air' and I certainly felt I was!

    Poor Theens sat down in an alcove and told me to go ahead as she couldn't move. Fear and the shakes had got the best of her.

    I scallywagged around investigating every nook and cranny and there are heaps. Unbelievable views everywhere you look. I got to the highest point at the bell tower loving every second until our time was up.

    It took the monks 60 years to complete the buildings. They used scaffolding to pull up the materials.

    There was 24 monasteries originally.
    8 remain and only 6 of those are active.
    The Turkish invasion caused a lot of fleeing to the monasteries.

    It takes 5 years to study to become a monk. Their diet is vegetarian, with fish at Easter and Christmas.
    They communicated via their bells.
    16 nuns live here.

    Our next stop is 'Varlaam'.
    It looks high up from the front but the buses park in close behind the tall rock. A short walk around a massive boulder and a suspension bridge greats you.

    Athena decided then and there to give this a miss!! People scared of heights can't do wobbly bridges!! 🤪

    I took off, up, up, up the brick steps clinging to the side of the mountain. Sheer drops at my side. Wow! Feeling so good to be alive.

    You can see the other monasteries from here perched atop the rock columns.

    The poor priest at the front desk got a look at my cleavage whilst I sweated and struggled to get my shawl on. His face told me a lot and looked at me as if to say 'Are you for real lady?'
    Whoops! I was hot and exhausted and my shawl was tangled up. Oh well.

    Inside Varlaam is beautiful. Small brick buildings, topiary bushes everywhere, a massive rotunda for the bells. Looks like a fairytale scene in the sky.
    I enter a doorway and am faced with a massive wooden barrel. Of course the wine makers.
    Very peaceful.
    This is my favourite one!

    I make my way back down to the buses and to Athena, while some ning nong is getting photos of himself hanging onto the staircase wall. If he slips, he dies. Made me ill to watch him.

    Athena and I grab some selfies and look through the stalls of souvenirs then onto the mini bus.
    I am sitting on the aisle and my seatbelt clasp is digging into me. Athena has wide shoulders so I cannot sit straight up on my seat, but am slightly tilted. (I end up with a huge purple bruise on my buttocks)

    We are told the highest peak is 615 metres and this area was once a lake of pillars.
    Game of Thrones used Meteora in the 'Sky cell' cave scene with Tyrion.
    I let out a loud woo hoo on the bus at the mention of GOT. The producers covered the existing buildings with clouds.

    We stop at a rock ledge for our panoramic photos. It goes way out and is high above the ground and I cannot believe I walked out on that without fear.
    A guy called out 'where is game of thrones girl' and it turned out to be psycho man. He got me to take shots of him doing full on kicks in the air like judo. I made him do it about 6 times and he was spent. Couldn't cope any more. Ha, ha haha. Suffer.

    From here we can see everything.

    Including the 'Holy Trinity' monastery, built in the late 14th century. It was used in James Bond's 'For your eyes only'.

    Final stop is 'St Stevens'.
    This is huge and is the nunnery.
    Easy to get to, Athena comes along.

    Once again pretty and serene.

    There are wooden seats inside that all have arms and are in a round. Like a meeting place.
    I sat in one and asked Athena to take my photo.
    Next minute, this scornful looking nun tells me off for crossing my legs whilst sitting. 'you do not cross your legs whilst sitting!!!'
    Athena started to giggle, the nun turned to her and told her off for using a camera. Well I lost it then, I had to walk away giggling like a child.

    I reckon if I was brought up by those nuns, I would be the naughtiest kid on the planet.

    Our tour over, we were dropped off at the station at 4.30pm to catch the 5.15pm. (I have been told not to rely on Greek transport so was a bit sceptical)
    It arrived on time. Hooray!

    We were in 1st class and I had a nap. Of course Athena took a photo of me!!!
    We left our little first class carriage as Athena informed me that a pungent smell was coming from someone.

    We stood up next to the snack bar and sang french songs to each other looking out the window, (in memory of our first Europe trip)

    Whilst I have been blogging Theens has been on Greek Tinder. Now she decided she's staying and will get married.
    Athena likes beards these monks may be her type!

    Our train ride home was interesting. Just stopped. 40mins, no announcement.
    I annoyed Athena no end asking her to ask someone what is happening.
    She said 'no one knows'.

    Lights off, engine off. We are in a sheep paddock halfway home and it is getting dark.
    The conductor passes us and always weirdly smiles at me and grabs my shoulder as he walks past.
    I thought maybe it is good he knows me in case we have to find other ways to get back to the hotel.
    We went back to our seats after an hour. Athena fell asleep and I chatted to the Scot with the American wife and the Japanese couple. We spoke about everything.
    Studio Ghibli was a highlight.

    After a 2 hour delay. We got to Athens station where no taxi wanted us as our hotel is too close to make it their worthwhile. Athena was getting frustrated.

    "Athena here..... Getting a cab in Athens is like finding a husband on Tinder.... Non existent!!!!!!.. There were 100 taxi's & and not one was interested in driving us to our hotel. I was asking & they were nodding oxi (no). Sandra & I finally found a lovely man & he said yes!"

    Back in the hotel, I am starving. I go grab some Singapore noodles at the local Chinese shop.
    Athena went straight to sleep as she was well and truly over it by 12.45am.
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  • Day185

    Meteroa, Holy Trinity

    November 7, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Agía Triáda: (Heilige Dreifaltigkeit) Das Kloster wurde wahrscheinlich zwischen 1458 und 1476 gebaut. Genauere Daten sind nicht überliefert. Die Anlage ist noch immer bewohnt. Ursprünglich war der Zugang nur über Seilwinden und Strickleitern möglich. Erst seit 1925 gibt es eine Treppe mit 140 Stufen. Die Kirche ist mit Fresken ausgemalt, die aus dem Jahr 1741 datieren. Bemerkenswert ist auch ein Evangeliar aus dem Jahr 1539. Das gedruckte Evangeliar mit silbernem Deckel stammt aus Venedig. Dieses Kloster wurde weltweit bekannt, da ein Teil des James-Bond-Filmes In tödlicher Mission darin gedreht wurde.Read more

  • Day33

    Amazing churches and a rest day

    July 26, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Today to Meteora to visit Grand Meteora Monastery and St Stephen Monastery. These monasteries are beyond belief, built hundreds of years ago, on immense pillars of rocks, with only the help of ropes to get the building materials to the top. Great Meteoron is the largest monastery, built in the 14th century, while St Stephen was built in the 16th century. St Stephen’s now has 28 nuns inhabiting it. We were given a guided tour of both monasteries and some time to look around by ourselves. There were originally about 30 built who knows how!! Now there's only a few left but still used by monks and nuns as in the 1600's.
    After this amazing experience we got to have a free afternoon. It's still mid 30 degrees so we hang out in the pool. After a big 3 days, everyone is enjoying it.
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  • Day27

    Breaking News

    June 3, 2017 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    Unsere gestrige 3-tages Vorausplanung änderte sich heute schlagartig nach ca. 47 Minuten und 34 Sekunden, nach unserer Besichtigung der wirklich sehenswerten Meteora Klöster und nach einer langen Wartezeit, da eine Schildkröte vor uns über die Straße stolzierte! Auf einer serpentinenreichen Strecke ist uns die Gangschaltung in einem kleinen Bergdörflein gebrochen. Mit 6 Griechen (wir glauben auch den einzigen Bewohnern hier) ^^ bastelten wir dann mitten auf der Straße an unserem Auto rum. Schlussendlich, nach ca. 2 Stunden, reparierten wir es provisorisch mit einem Kabelbinder. Mit Nervenkitzel ging es dann wieder zurück nach Kastraki.
    Wir schafften es gerade noch in die nächste Werkstatt, wo uns die beiden Mechaniker zum Glück weiterhelfen konnten (wieder einmal knapp vor Feierabend). Der benachbarte Lokalinhaber versorgte uns währenddessen mit Essen und Zipporo (ging alles aufs Haus - Danke).

    Uns und unserem Bus gehts also wieder richtig gut!
    Wir sind nun auf einem Campingplatz und entspannen nach diesem abenteuerreichen Tag bei einem Glas Gin Tonic (könnten auch zwei werden).

    Liebe Grüße aus dem hilfreichen und gastfreundlichen Griechenland!
    Eure RoadTrip Girls ;-)
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Kalampáka, Kalampaka, Kalambaka, Καλαμπάκα

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