Greece 2008 – Corinth, Mycenae, and Nafplio

 

I’m pleased to say that we all made it successfully and safely back to the United States. We’ve actually been back for a couple weeks now, so this post is long overdue. Apologies!

As promised, here is an update about our weekend trip to Corinth, Mycenae, and Nafplio.

Corinth

We left Katohi around 7 AM on a Friday morning. Most people slept on the bus (myself included). On the way to Nafplio, we stopped by ancient Corinth for a couple hours and tromped around the ruins. Honestly, ancient Corinth isn’t very impressive to me. Sure, it’s a major attraction for many people because of its connection to the Apostle Paul, but as far as ruins go, there are much better places to visit in Greece.

Far more impressive to me are the ruins just outside the main “touristy” area of Corinth. Across the street from the entrance to ancient Corinth and just down a rocky hill are a number of unlabeled, unguarded ruins, including the ancient theatre! We spent less than an hour exploring the “paid” part of Corinth, and well over an hour scampering around the “unpaid” part. Please be sure to see the picture below of Adam and myself standing just above the ancient theatre.

There’s also an ancient fortress at the top of a mountain nearby (called “Acro-Corinth”), but we didn’t have time as a group to hike to the top. Since several members of our company wanted to brave the mountain, we organized a side trip the following week back to Corinth. Hiking to the top was a blast, especially since I’d been dying to do it since my last trip to Corinth in 2006.

Here’s a slideshow of pictures from Corinth. Click the “play” button to begin the show, and if you wish to download individual pictures, just click anything within the slideshow itself to see all the individual photos.

Nafplio

After our Corinthian excursion, we resumed the drive to Nafplio. After we checked into the Hotel Amalia (5-stars!), we relaxed, napped, and took luxurious showers (yay!) before heading into Nafplio for dinner. Dinner was amazingly expensive. Kat and I only ordered appetizers and a beer, yet the bill turned out close to 20 Euros (around $35). Ouch!

Of course, we could not resist the urge to gorge ourselves on Italian gelatto afterward, so like a herd of salivating zombies we marched in a group from dinner to the world-famous Italian gelateria. Yum! I think almost everyone in the company visited the gelateria at least once a day while in Nafplio.

SATURDAY: After a filling breakfast buffet at the hotel, we visited the old fortress in Nafplio. It’s difficult to describe how much I like running around this fortress. At every turn there are nooks, crannies, ledges, tunnels, towers, and other potentially-dangerous places to explore. It’s wonderful! The view from the fortress also provides some of the most breath-taking scenery I’ve ever seen.

Since the fortress is on top of a small mountain, we had two options for descending: take the bus down, or walk down 999 steps. Naturally, most of us opted for the steps despite advice against it from some local Greeks. They told us it would take at least half an hour to descend the steps. Bah! It only took us 15, and that included stopping to take pictures on the way down.

Here’s a slideshow of assorted pictures from Nafplio.

Mycenae

SUNDAY: After breakfast, we drove out to the ruins of Mycenae. This was the famed city in which Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Aegithus, Electra, and Orestes lived. The ruins of the city are impressive enough, but the massive tombs are unbelievable! Supposedly, the gigantic tombs are for Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, and Aegithus, but no one really knows for sure. We spent close to two hours exploring the ruins, including singing inside the hollow, conical “Treasury of Atreus” (tomb of Agamemnon). Very nice! Very resonant!

Most people went to the beach on Sunday afternoon, but Kat and I opted to stay at the hotel. I’m glad we did because I somehow managed to take a 4-hour nap! For some reason, I didn’t sleep much the first night we were here, so I was grateful for the chance to catch up on some lost sleep.

Sunday dinner was on our own in Nafplio again. After that first expensive meal, we wanted to avoid fancy restaurants, so we found a place that sold gyros and ate our fill, (followed of course) by one last batch of gelatto.

And finally, here is a collection of photos from Mycenae. Enjoy!

Originally posted on 22 August 2008