Varlaam Monastery, Meteora, and the Greek Orthodox Faith


We passed through the gift shop fairly quickly, partly because of our lack of interest in religious artefacts, and partly because we dislike clutter around the house. Apart from the hanging candle holders, we didn't really see anything worth stopping for. However, if you're into rosary beads, icons, crucifixes and such things, then you may well find this a veritable treasure trove.

There was a black-garbed and bearded monk chanting in the church when we entered. I don't know whether our presence encouraged him to complete his prayers quickly or perhaps he was about to finish anyway. He soon left which gave us more freedom to inspect the church and its contents more closely. The walls and ceiling of the church are all painted with religious scenes. There are some very nicely carved high wooden chairs and a rather more modern and less ornate lectern than those in the museum. The taking of photographs in the church and museum is forbidden.

Three modern brightly coloured paintings adorn the alcoves in the walls of the courtyard at the entrance to the church. We couldn't identify all of the figures represented; perhaps they were important saints in the Greek Orthodox church. Russia has Orthodoxy in common with Greece and this perhaps partly explains the increasing number of Russian tourists.

Views near the Varlaam MonasteryWe met some German and American tourists that day. It's always interesting to talk to fellow travellers from other countries and exchange experiences and tips about good places to visit. They were all enjoying Meteora which was just one section of their planned tour. Delphi, Athens, Pelion, and the islands were other popular stops on the itinerary.

The toilets at the monastery were the hole in the floor type, but clean. It may be worth noting that the monasteries do not contain cafes or tea shops, so you will need to bring your own refreshments.

The vistas on the way to the next Byzantine monastery in Meteora were magnificent. One can only stand and stare in wonder.