There are 9 rock top monasteries still operating of an original 24. They are accessed by flights of steps cut in the rock and each has an entry fee of 2 euros. We visited 3 of them, 2 small ones, St Nicolas and Holy Trinity and the largest, Meteorou. It was hard work on a hot day climbing the steps but worth it. The churches at each one have marvellous old frescoes and the architecture, with balconies and complex roof lines is really nice. The views across to the other monasteries and across to the mountains that we rode through yesterday are incredible. They were built in the 13th to 15th centuries and have been added to and modified since. Most now have a small cable car for getting goods up or across to them, but until the 1970s they used rope baskets hauled up by a windlass.
We have decided to stay two nights here, so we were in no hurry, and at 2.00 we returned to our hotel and had a late lunch at a nearby tavern. The vegetarian food for Gail is good in Greece. A wide range of salads and bean, mushroom and pepper dishes in the appetizer section of the menu, so she chooses a selection of them and I help her eat them with my meat dish.Checked the bike over in the afternoon and everything looks fine. It has served us really well so far and is the ideal type of bike for this style of touring. Most of the other foreigners we have seen touring Italy and Greece, and on the ferries, have been on BMW GSs tricked out as if they are going to cross Africa though none of them look as if they have ever left the bitumen. As the daytime heat is rising the best bit of equipment on the bike is the sheepskin seat cover that we brought from Oz. Without it our backsides would be cooking each time we get back on the black plastic bike seat when it has been left in the baking sun.
At 7.30 in the evening we went for a walk round town. Some shops were opening for the evening trade even though it is Sunday and people were emerging to have coffee or a drink at the dozens of cafes. Dinner at the same place as last night. Another excellent meal.