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Our penultimate stop on our route was Kastraki, at the foot of Meteora, a place where geology and time have crafted a landscape both beautiful and alien. “Meteora” means “suspended in air,” and it’s no wonder why it kept this name. Scientists have only theorized as to how these gargantuan rocks formed to reach almost 400 meters high, but the main idea is that about 60 million years ago, a combination of earthquakes and weathering made them what they are today. Atop these outcroppings are Greek Orthodox monasteries that still house monks. 
 

We spent a lot of time trying to avoid the heat—it was about 105 F all the days we were there, and although we’re used to the high temperatures in AZ, we felt the effects of the sun. Normally, we would have hiked to the monasteries, which is doable and much less intimidating than what we had just done a couple days prior on Olympus (although we both were still sore from that happy little jaunt, as well). 
One day we did manage to catch a bus up to the monasteries. Snaking up the mountain on the bus, the view shifted and our perspectives morphed. What had once been little toy houses perched on the rock crag transformed into life-size buildings, and we disembarked at the Holy Monastery of Grand Meteoron.
This particular monastery is the biggest of the six, and was established in 1340. Among things to see at the monastery, other than the requisite Grecian kitty, are museums both about the religion and their documents, artwork, and Greek history, as well as the old kitchen, workshops and the ossuary, where all the bones of deceased monks remain today.
More than anything, though, are the incredible views, both from the monasteries and below. Other than seeing the monasteries on the rocks, my favorite thing to do was watch the sunset from the road. Note to self: watch more sunsets. 

A big rock

Sunset from our favorite spot. There were benches facing the exact right point, and an old man always came to watch the sun go down, too.

On the road up to the biggest monastery. You can sort of see on the right where another one rests.

More rocks!

Thar she blows!

We had to cover up! Ladies are not even allowed to wear pants to cover their legs, they must wear skirts.

Yay for sacred spaces!
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