Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ioannina & Meteora & Metsovo

The city of Ioannina

The city of Meteora

Meteora monastary

cute towns in Ioannina

The lake by Ali Pasha's castle

The GORGEOUS postcard city of Metsovo

Some byzantine art at the monastary

skulls at the monastary

our group

This past weekend a group of 50 ACT American students went to Ioannina and Meteora and stayed the night in the post-card-city of Metsovo.  Those cities are in the mountainous region of Western Greece, known as Epirus. We visited the Perama caves with it's incredible stalactites and stalagmites. We then stayed overnight in Metsovo and visited the famous monasteries of Meteora in the morning. The monasteries are built on high rocks and land formations that date back to pre-historic times. 

As you can see from the photos, it was completely beautiful. The weather was warm at 50-60 degrees and the skies were blue and spotted with clouds. This whole weekend felt like I was walking through a National Geographic magazine. It didn't feel real.

The Perama caves were awe-inspiring. For a stalactite to grow 1 cm it takes 60-80 years. Those stalactites were hugeeeee! They've been around for millennia. That just blows my mind. It was ridiculously humid in there, and photographs all came out pretty crappy since we were in a cave and all.

The monasteries on the cliffs were mind blowing! How could they build monasteries at such great heights, so precariously balanced on stone? There was such a feeling of sacredness looking at the monasteries and walking through them. 

I roomed with Riley at the hotel and as you can see from above, we had lots of fun together. Instead of taking a nap during our 2 hour break we jumped on the bed and danced to songs. Yes, we're cool like that.

We all went to dinner together, all 50 of us and had a largeeee delicious meal. Metsovo is famous for it's meats and it's red wines. The red wine was tasty and the "traditional sausage" was great as well. The veal was yucky and the chicken was kind of dry but the sausage was a winner.

The weekend exhausteddddd us all and on the 3 hour bus ride back home to Thessaloniki, absolutely everyone was passed out cold. Worth it.

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