Fourth day, Tuesday, June 27, Kalabaka – Part Four

Where are we now?

Walking through the forest, they also showed us the caves of the rock-dwelling hermits.

In theory, some lived here until the 9th century; one of them climbed up at the age of 22 and didn’t come down for 8 years, only to be brought down because he died. These hermits thought that this would bring them closer to God. I would have preferred to climb Mount Olympus, but I think it wasn’t dramatic enough… They were at the mercy of the others, they didn’t come down for nothing. Neither is the 92-year-old uncle who has been living in one of the modern rock houses for fifty years. He rarely receives visitors, only by prior arrangement by letter.

After that, we went up again to the other two monasteries, and then to the mountain peak that marks the end of the tour, from where you can take sunset pictures.

At the summit, more than a hundred “very religious, good Christians” people got out with 2 dogs emaciated to bones and skin; one clearly had cubs somewhere in the woods. I bought a one-liter orange juice this morning, which is sold in a 6-7 cm diameter, completely cylindrical bottle. I drank it all on the way, but I filled it with water at the church. The cup of this is so big that you can give it to a dog to drink… While the “good Christians” turned their backs and pretended that they had never seen a sunset, the dogs got a whole package of olive rusks, drank a liter of water and ended the day with a slice of muesli with yogurt. Every tourist arriving in such a private bus had an extra half-liter of water as a gift, and everyone had food because they knew they were coming for a 5-hour program. Now you understand why I don’t pay entry tickets to any church and what my problem is with “Christians”.

One more thing about “good Christians”: if you think you’re going to become a monk and you don’t like the particular monastery, you have two options: either you go to another one, change your name and choose a new saint (to whom you dedicated your whole life and “work” ), or you move back among the people, but definitely not where you came from, because these “good Christians” will completely excommunicate you if they find out what you did…

Anyway, the tour-guide girl was nice, but she kept talking about the monasteries 5 hours. I never want to hear the word “monk” or “monastery” ever again.