Monastery of Agia Trias
I set out this morning to explore the monasteries of Meteora on foot. This is not the most popular option (there are tour buses galore, as well as public buses which shuttle people from one monastery to the next) but it was the one recommended to me and it sounded like the most fun, plus it let me see the monasteries on my own schedule. I headed up random roads to the top of Kalambaka, then set out on a well-marked, paved trail which wound its way up the mountainside.
I met this cat on the trail.
When I was near the top, I got some great views of the surrounding area.
My first stop was the Monastery of Agia Trias (Holy Trinity). It is one of the smaller monasteries, and reaching it requires an ascent of over 100 stairs, so fewer tour buses stop there. For that reason, I found it to be the most intimate of the four monasteries I visited. I am also glad I went there first thing in the morning, since I pretty much had the place to myself. When I neared the end of the trail, the first thing I saw was not the monastery but this cable-and-box contraption which shuttles goods (and people) between the road and the monastery. It was moving when I first saw it. (The monastery is hidden behind the rock on the right).
I then climbed many sets of stairs:
And finally reached the entrance to the monastery, where I paid my 3 euro entrance fee (they all charge the same amount). The cable-box drops you off at the same place.
I really like this cute little porch which attaches to the monastery like a barnacle. The hook can be lowered to the valley floor to resupply the monastery.
Once through the door, I climbed up the main steps:
And I reached the inside of the porch. The winch is used to raise and lower the hook, but as the cable is secured in place, I do not think it is in regular use any more. (My guess is they use the cable-box instead.)
Here is a closeup of the winch. Supplies are placed in the net, which is then attached to the hook.
I like this picture of the roof beams of the porch.
I then passed through this room:
And arrived at the entrance to the chapel.
These ornately carved doors are opposite the chapel entrance.
Once again, I took some illicit, flash-free photos of the chapel.
Here is a photo of the dome frescoes.
And the stalls.
And finally a closeup of one of the frescoes.
After leaving the chapel, I walked out onto the top of the rock monastery.
Where I got spectacular views of the valley and some of the other monasteries:
There is a nice, small garden on top of the monastery.
I spent a peaceful hour in the monastery before heading down to see the rest of the area. As I walked on to the next monastery, here are some photos I took looking back on Agia Trias: