Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Travel Tuesdays: Bucket List part 2

Last week I named two places in Greece that I would love to visit. This week I have two more, next week we will explore Italy! 


The Greek word meteora means “suspended in the air,” and this phrase aptly describes the spectacular cliffs that rise more than 1,200 feet (366 meters) into the air overlooking the villages of Kalambaka and Kastraki in the north central mainland of Greece. What makes these cliffs even more inspiring are the historic monasteries perched along the summits. Dating back to the 14th and 16th centuries, these monasteries were built by monks seeking spiritual isolation and freedom from religious persecution. 

While there were originally 24 monasteries, only six of them remain intact today. Accessible by a staircase carved from the cliffs, the monasteries contain some of the world’s best examples of religious manuscripts and art works, which can be viewed on-site. In addition to the monasteries, Meteora is also home to several rare bird and flower species. This makes Meteora a great place to enjoy outdoor recreation. At the base of the cliffs are the main towns of Kalambaka and Kastraki, peaceful and beautiful villages that offer accommodation, shops, restaurants and tavernas as well as a number of Byzantine churches, Greek temples and other interesting historic sites. Meteora can be reached by bus and taxi from Athens in Central Greece.

Holy Monastery of Rousanou, Kalambaka, Greece Monks used to be raised by ropes to get into the monastery but stairs have now been added, sure is good for the tourists.


Second to the Acropolis in Athens, Delphi is Greece’s most popular archaeological site. Located about two and half hours from Athens along the slopes of the awe-inspiring Mount Parnassus, Delphi was once revered by the ancient Greeks as the center of the earth. Dedicated to the god, Apollo, Delphi was an important oracle and holy place for worshiping Apollo. In ancient times, people would come to this sacred spot to inquire of the priestess for advice on a wide range of topics from farming to relationships and politics. Over time, as the popularity of the Oracle of Delphi increased, so did the offerings. Temples and monuments were built, and the wealth of the area spread to establish the surrounding city that remains today. Significant ruins and structures at Delphi include the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury, Altar of the Chians, the theater, stadium and hippodrome that once hosted events of the ancient Pythian Games. The town of Delphi offers plenty of hotel accommodation, restaurants, shops and taverns as well as historic churches, interesting museums and art galleries. As Delphi is a popular day trip from Athens, tourists will find a number of bus tours from the capital city. The town of Delphi is within walking distance of the archaeological site, so walking is the primary transportation within the area although taxis are available.

The "navel" of the world, Delphi, is situated below the slopes of mount Parnassus to the south of mainland Greece. Delphi was a place with springs, exhalations and crevices which gave it a sacred character. Very early it became the seat of a prehistoric oracle and then it gave place to the sanctuary and oracle of Apollo, god of music, light and divination. Those who wanted to consult the oracle asked the Pythia, priestess of Apollo, who intoxicated by the exhalations gave a quite often equivocal answer. Soon the oracle acquired worldwide fame and governors from all the then known world consulted the Pythia and so Delphi turned into a famous oracle adorned by the splendid offerings of the worshipers and at the same time a centre of political decision. At Delphi there is an archaeological site with the ruins of treasuries, porticoes and the temple of Apollo, all scattered over the uneven mountain slope. Nearby there is an archaeological museum with the movable findings of the excavations, with the “Charioteer" being one of the most famous ones.
If you are in search of culture, archaeology, amazing sights and views then these two places are a must! 

Are either of there places on you Bucket List?
Where are some of the place that you would love to visit?

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