Date: April 23, 2004
Cities: Kalambaka, Meteora
Eirini completely lost her voice overnight. Heidi played the voice
of tour director on the bus for the day. When we reached Kalambaka we
stopped at a pharmacy for Eirini to pick up some throat spray.
But first, there was a moment of surprise when the bus
grounded out and stuck as we were leaving. Once the passengers got
off, the suspension rose and the bus was able to back up again. There
was minimal cosmetic damage. Our faith in Paris was not shaken, which
was good since today was all narrow mountain road driving, especially
up to the monasteries.
first stop was a monastery which was just across a bridge from the
parking lot. From there we went to a second monastery which has 150
steps from the bridge up through the outer door and the porch to the
church door. It was a good hike up, but the view was fantastic, and
the church and courtyards were well worth the effort.
After the monasteries we dropped the guide and four of
our group in Kalambaka, three more at the hotel, and then went to see
Father Pefkis making icons using traditional Byzantine materials
including egg tempera. Jane got a middling large icon as her sole
souvenir of the trip. It was painted by Brother Pefkis himself, and he
signed it for Jane while Allan paid.
Allan dozed while Sam, the sole male college student, spoke about
Greek politics from World War II to the end of the Junta in 1974. The
bus wasn't really comfortable, with no good place to lean on, so we
slept four more hours after we returned to the hotel. We find regular
naps greatly enhance our enjoyment of traveling.