On their way back from the cave at Pharsalos, the Italian students visited the famous monasteries at Meteora. They are famed for their location perched on the edge of very high and precipitous outcroppings of rocky cliffs. The older method of ascending was through being hauled up in a rope net but the aged ropes were worn out. In a lecture years later Gilbert gleefully recounted the perilous climb up a series of linked ladders which swayed in the wind.