It was last last summer that Ashley and Yung Tat contacted us. They expressed their desire to visit Greece and specifically requested to have Delphi and Meteora added to their itinerary. A splendid choice indeed! Most travelers came to Greece to see the famous Parthenon perched on the Acropolis of Athens before hitting the beautiful islands that Greece is well-known for. If one have little more time, then the two UNESCO world heritage sites of Delphi and Meteora should also be on the top of your list. So what do these two sites have to offer?
ORACLE OF DELPHI
Ashley and Yung Tat were comfortably transported along with our guide from Athens to Delphi. This scenic route demonstrating the beautiful landscape of Thebes, Levadia and the picturesque village of Arachova right on the slopes of Mount Parnassus before arriving in Delphi. The archaeological site of Delphi is located near the modern village of the same name in northern Greece. In ancient times, this was the most important sacred sanctuary of the oracle of Apollo (the god of light and prophecy). People from all over the Mediterranean would come here to seek divine guidance. Back then, Delphi was revered throughout the Greek world as the center of the universe.
The actual site stands at top of a rocky hill offering great view to the valley beneath full of olive trees. Delphi archaeological site consists of two sanctuaries, dedicated to Apollo and Athena along with other ceremonial structures. The young couple then continue their onward journey for Kalambaka, a small village at the foot of the Meteora peaks where the next highlight awaits them. In the remaining serene evening, they took some time to explore this traditional village followed by a good rest.
GEOLOGICAL PHENOMENON – METEORA
The next morning promise a visit to Meteora – one of the most magical and captivating place on earth. Meteora has the most impressive scenery with medieval monasteries perched on high grounds, as the name in the Greek language literally means “suspended in the air”. These mysterious monasteries were rumored to possess priceless historical and religious treasures. They represent a unique artistic achievement and are one of the most powerful examples of the architectural transformation of a site into a place of retreat, meditation and prayer.
They were built on rock pinnacles which rise starkly over 400 meters above Kalambaka on the Thessalian plain. These pinnacles were created some 60 million years ago, emerging from the cone of a river and further transformed by earthquakes. Between the 14th and 16th century during the peak of the Byzantine period, 24 monasteries stood proudly on the summits of the rocks. Now 6 of them remained to be explored.
Credit: Photo by Ashley, Yung Tat & Joycelyn