We’ve been working hard, and since arriving, the school has gained 20+ volunteers, so we’re taking the weekend off. I’ve been dreaming of Meteora ever since I saw some fantastic photos a couple years ago. Probably on Instagram, if we’re being honest, but I don’t remember for sure. I was going to take the train on my own, but Cesc and Joseba, another Spanish volunteer, have decided to come with me so instead of the train we all share on the cost of a car rental. I love a good road trip!
I think it goes without saying that we picked the cheapest car we could find, but because it’s high season and pretty last minute, it doesn’t end up being cheap at all. Goodbye 25€/day budget. It was fun while it lasted.
Within 10 minutes of picking up the car, the hub cap comes loose, goes flying, and we have to pull over to go find it. Off to a wonderful start! We don’t even bother putting it back on, and just toss it in the trunk to reattach before we return this piece of plastic we’re driving. As long as it gets me to Meteora I don’t care.
We stop at a little beach town for lunch, and take a quick dip in the sea. This is not the crystal blue water you expect in Greece. It’s brown and opaque; I can’t see what, but something is most definitely touching my feet. Maybe seaweed, maybe fish, maybe a blood thirsty shark, a dead body, who knows, I can’t see.
We don’t stay long but I try to get a little tan on while I can. In a few short weeks I’ll be back in the cold of Toronto, and pale again. It’s been a year, so there are some things I look forward to about going home, but the weather is not one of them.
A few hours later, we’ve made it to Meteora with all 3 remaining hub caps in tact. We’ve got an hour to sunset so we head straight up the winding roads to the cliff tops. Meteora is a town surrounded by a collection of stark towering pillar-like rocks, some with beautiful 14th century monasteries built on the edge of the peaks. It seems impossible that they could be built there now, with our modern tools and technology, let alone 700 years ago. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site a while ago, and many well paved roads now allow tourists to easily access the monasteries as well as various epic view points. We take full advantage of the fact that we have a car and drive around to a few different places for different perspectives. It’s all amazing. Catching the sunset was well worth it.
Now that it’s dark, we drive to a spot where we find a couple small trees at the edge of a cliff for shelter. 99% sure it’s not legal to just set up shop and sleep here, so the trees will keep us a little more hidden too! We lay out the bedding we borrowed from our Air BnB, secure it down with our backpacks, and lay out in the open air to do some stargazing. The night sky is clear and black. Millions of stars shimmer across the vast darkness above us, stretching down to the horizon, sprinkled around the cliffs and monasteries. There’s nothing but the sky once the monastery on a neighbouring cliff has turned off it’s final light.
We discuss extra terrestrial life, feminism, religion, and Spanish politics, only pausing periodically to marvel over the meteors falling across the sky. When the conversations get heated, the boys revert back to speaking Spanish, way too fast for me to possibly understand, and I get lost. It’s difficult when I have so many opinions I want to share but can’t fully partake in a debate!
I underestimated how cold and windy it would be. Joseba and I make the mistake of standing up at the same time, and lose both our pillows to a gust of wind. Right over the cliff. Oops.
Share of Car Rental: 50€ (told you it was absurdly expensive!)
4€ish highway tolls
10€ grocery store supplies for dinner/breakfast and snacks