Meteora Hilltop Monasteries
Greece
The Meteora Valley is the site of hilltop Greek Orthodox
monasteries dating back nearly 1,000 years.  It's hard to
imagine a more incredible, difficult construction site than
Meteora, which means "rocks in the air".  From the
neighboring town of Kalambaka, you can see one of the
towering peaks upon which the monasteries were built.
Considering the primitive equipment used, winches and
pulleys, the monks and others who built the Meteora
Monasteries must have been extremely dedicated to the task.
We visited the Varlaam Monastery built in 1536.  It's
still active atop this rock, with monks who unfortunately
don't allow any interior photography.   
Here is a portion of the Varlaam Monastery from
the mountaintop itself.  24 of the rocks once held
monasteries, but a far smaller number survive today.
Income from tourism, for those monasteries that can
be reached by road, has helped to save Meteora.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip to Greece
by clicking on:
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