So, I'm sorry that it took so long to get this and Thessaloniki up - I really am - but I'm traveling and the internet is finally worth using here. This is probably going to be more of a picture dump, as there's not a ton to do in Meteora, so just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
*Meteora at Sunset*
The first day was the same as the second - tons of hiking (over 30 miles by my phone's GPS), followed by tons of picture taking, followed by more hiking. This area is amazing - and not just for it's stunning natural beauty, but the niceness of the locals, the willingness of anyone to help out, and the comfortable little places to sit down and have a cappuccino while waiting for the train.
*Paul being a badass*
*Me and Max in front of a monestary*
The monasteries themselves are actually very cool to visit. Each of the 7 has a small museum, where you can take a look at some of the preserved artifacts - as well as some interesting exhibits on life in a monastery. Most of the monks, however, were absent (or hiding in their rooms from the crowd of tourists) so we didn't really get to meet any of them, but each one was beautiful in it's own right.
*Paul and Max with a puppy*
There was only one really exciting thing that we got up to besides the hiking the the beauty. And that, my friends, was the mushroom museum.
We were a bit incredulous when we first saw this place on the map - but then decided that we had to go. With over 7000 species of mushroom growing in Greece - the group here had assembled over 100 different varieties, each with a story, name, and a sign telling you if they were poisonous (bad to eat), toxic (not good to eat), not-edible (don't want to eat), and edible (yumm). The lady at the museum walked us through a few typical greek landscapes, explaining the toxic and deadly ones, as well as the delicious ones. At the end of our time, we got to sample a few of the best wildly grown Greek mushrooms. They were quite good. We even decided to buy some. Paul bought a few candied mushrooms (super sweet), and I got some mushroom chocolate.
I have to say though, that that woman knew her mushrooms - and that, is why we called her the mushroom lady. Also, she was single. And Paul was interested. Very. He said he would run up a mountain for her. So yeah.
That's all I've got from Kalampaka and Meteora - but we're on our way to Athens next, and I should have some more good stories to share soon!