Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MAKE IT HAPPEN

When we first viewed the Agean Sea from the road leading into Napflio, I realized that if you want something enough, you can make it happen. I have dreamed of seeing Greece since I was a child and my mother enrolled me in a children's art history by mail series provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The booklets came once a month and I had to paste the correct stamp of individual pieces into their appropriate space and read the text describing what this piece was. My favorite was the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Samos is an island in Greece and the statue was originally part of the sanctuary of Samos. Now, of course, the Victory (or Nike) resides in the Louvre, but Greece is most definitely still here.

We spent our first week getting acquainted with the basics of visiting Greece. Learning to recognize a few words, getting used to driving like the crazy Greek drivers, seeing what food was suitable for us picky Americans, and locating the super market. During that first week, we drove to the amphitheater in Epidavros (Epidaurus on some maps) and were as amazed as the guidebooks promised we would be. We kept saying over and over "Wow, this was a lot of work!" but several days later I thought that 3000 years from now if tourists are walking over the ruins of Manhattan, they will be saying "Wow, this was a lot of work!" I will post photographs on this blog and on Flickr when we get home and I edit the collection. I may have taken 600 shots so far, I don't know. I do know we've spent a fortune on Duracells!

We also visited Mycenae and saw the oldest bas relief carving in the ancient world, the Lion Gate. This is where Agamemnon was murdered by his wife Clynemestra after being away for 10 years fighting some war or another. This is a site excavated by Henrich Schliemann and where he found the gold mask you often see titled Agamamnon's Mask, but later historians don't think it really is his face. However, this was an impressive site with lots to see and lots to learn.

On the way back to Napflio, we stopped at Tyros, another ancient site with cyclopean stones. These huge blocks of stone were so large that the Greeks thought they could only have been put in place by a cyclops. It was interesting to us that you could just walk all over the site, prowl around to your heart's content. No signs saying "Stay on Path" or any other warnings. And, credit to all of us tourists and the Greeks who visit here, there was no trash or litter anywhere.

In Napflio itself, there were two castles - the one we looked at from our balcony every morning and evening - the Paramidi, and the other, the Acronapflio. We spent one day just exploring Napflio. We went to the beach one day, and the water was wonderful, but the beach itself was rocks, not sand, so not very comfy for lazing and dozing. The Greeks must not have heard about melanoma because they are all laying about getting tanned in their too-skimpy for taste bikinis and speedos.

We decided to keep the car for an extra three days so that we would have more time to visit Olympia, Delphi, and Corinth.

I'll blog about that leg of the trip next time (or when we get home if I can't find another internet cafe!)

We are off to Santorini tomorrow, finishing up in Athens and flying home on Sunday.
Post a Comment