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where in GreeceGreece travel: Meteora Monasteries Page 1

Meteora, pronounced 'Meh-TEH-o-rah' (stressed syllable capitalized) comes from the verb 'meteorizo', which means, 'to suspend in the air, which describes exactly what is seen at Meteora, one of these most visited of Greek sites.

Some (like me) could even speculate that the English word meteor arises from this root.

Situated in the westernmost part of the huge Greek nomos (province/prefecture) of Macedonia, these precipitous rock formations that project dramatically into the sky, resembling natural towers, once supported 24 monasteries.

According to geologists, the rocks were created millions of years ago by the Pinios River as it split the huge north-south Pindos range to the west from the Thessalian plain, and thus separated the Pindos from the eastern range that monastey locations ,apincludes Mount Olymbos and Mount Ossa.

These grey pinnacles sit in the northwest corner of the huge plain, just north and est of the town of Kalambaka.

If you drive through the town, approaching from the south (from Trikala) the tackiness of structures and signs along the modern road present an intense contrast with the first-glimpsed spires of rock off to the right, which appear dreamlike and surreal, especially if seen on a misty day.

The rock pillars, which number around 60, are composed of sandstone and conglomerate and stand up to 300meters/984feet high. Vultures drift among them.

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