Sunday, 26 January 2014

Naplion - Greece Sept 2013

We were very glad that we had the hotel ordered our taxi to take us to the bus station as the route was rather circuitous and through some very narrow deserted laneways. I think we would have been a bit apprehensive if we had just hailed a cab.

We eventually found the place to buy our ticket and we were on the 10.30 bus. We arrived in Naplion around lunch time. It took a little while to find our hotel though it wasn’t far from the bus station. The Agamemnon Hotel was in a great location on the coast, though we didn’t have a ‘room with a view’. After we booked in we had lunch at one of the many restaurants along the coastline. We then wandered around and decided to jump on the ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ bus which would take us up to the fortress on the hill. Fortress of Palamindi can also be accessed by 999 steps but going by road is a lot easier. It stands 220 metres above the town and was built between 1711 and 1715. It fell into Ottoman hands before it was completed. There have been many additions over the years and is built in such a way that it has many little mini fortresses within its main walls. The views from the walls are definitely spectacular.
View from Palamindi Fortress

We caught the bus coming back, it was a bit of a budget ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ bus with the commentary working intermittently, but we were able to see most of the interesting features around the town. We were using Naplion as a jumping off to Epidaurus and Mycenae.

The next day we caught the bus to Mycenae; it took an hour to get there but was worth it. I had studied Greek History when I was younger and had an interest in archeology so coming to places like this was a thrill. Mycenae was the centre of the Mycenaean civilization which dated from the 16th to 12th century BC .It evolved throughout Greece and to many sites in the Mediterranean basin. This acropolis dominates the area. Excavations of the site begun by Heinrich Schliemann in 1874 continue today. It was fascinating wandering among the ruins thinking about the history and civilization that existed here so long ago.

Famous Lion Gate-Mycenae

We were able to have a thorough look around the site we caught the next bus back, the weather was quite hot and we were feeling rather tired. When we returned to Naplion we had lunch and rested for the afternoon.

The following day it was off to Epidaurus. The most important monuments belong to the 4th and 3rd century BC. These included the temple of Asclepius, the theatre and stadium. However the theatre is a standout and is the most perfect of its kind. It has superb acoustics, a coin dropped or paper torn can be heard from the back seat. Plays are still performed there and I think it would be a great thrill to see a performance of one of the ancient Greek plays. It was fascinating walking among the ruins, sitting on the seats of the theatre imagining what it must have been like all those centuries ago.

Theatre - Epidaurus

Then back to reality and on the bus back to Naplion. We had a quiet time walking around the town exploring areas along the coast. The following day we would be leaving to catch our ferry across to Crete. We didn’t have to leave too early as it would be an overnight trip. We discovered that the bus stopped at one of Athens’ metro stations which would take us to Piraeus, this would take hassle out of getting to our ferry.