Greece: Meteora, Delphi, Athens, and Kefalonia
Stephanie and I spent our honeymoon in Greece this July. Here are a few photos the trip.
Meteora is a striking rock formation, made much more so by the monasteries built precipitously on top of those rocks. Twenty-four monasteries were established between the 13th and 14th century, of which six remain today.
The monasteries were built designed to be inaccessible to outsiders to keep the monks safe from political upheaval and those who might do them harm, including Turkish raiders. The only access to the monasteries was via rope ladders and winches such as this one:
These days the monasteries are a major tourist attraction. Stairs were carved into the rock in the twentieth century to make the monasteries more accessible.
The monasteries themselves are beautiful and carefully maintained:
The whole area is beautiful. You can hike up to the monasteries from the town below and watch the sunset.
I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the phone in our hotel bathroom:
This may seem silly at first, but boy it sure would have come in handy that one time in Laos. Perhaps getting locked in the bathroom is more common than you’d think?
Check out Wikipedia for more info on Meteora.
We stopped in Delphi, where The Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, spoke to the gods.
The highlight of Athens is certainly Acropolis and the historical sites around it:
The dominant building on the Akropolis is the Parthenon, the temple of Athena:
I was often struck by the immediate proximity of ancient and modern in Athens.
I suppose that is what happens when you continue living in a place with such a long history.
Monastariki is the part of Athens just north of the Acropolis and the agoras. It is known for its vibrant street art and busy nightlife.
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is definitely worth seeing. It houses Ancient Greek art & artifacts.
A particular gem for me (I’m an engineer, you know) was the Antikythera Mechanism:
This is a hand-powered orrery, a device for calculating positions of astronomical bodies. It is estimated that it was built between 205 BC and 87 BC! Whoa! Per Wikipedia, machines of similar complexity did not appear again until the fourteenth century. That’s awe-inspiring.
We ended our trip on Kefalonia, looking to get away from crowds and lie on a forgotten little beach somewhere. In this we succeeded.
This is the Melissani Cave Lake:
It’s quite picturesque and memorable… so much so that it was included in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. In that game, unlike in real life, you’re allowed to dive into the lake’s pure waters.
Overall, it was an excellent trip. We are already looking forward to coming back - there are so many more things to see and islands to explore. Thanks, Greece!