18 Comments40th Anniversary Trip, Greek Odyssey, History, Memoir, Photography, Travel

greek odyssey

All my life I’ve wanted to visit Greece and indulge my passion for ancient history, archaeology and mythology. When my husband first broached the subject of marking our 40th anniversary with a vacation, it came to mind immediately. Thus, we embarked on the trip of a lifetime! Come along for the ride.

This is a continuing series. See other chapters HERE.

Part III: Epidaurus, Nafplion & Mycenae
(Sept. 10, 2013)

[Day One of Four, Classical Greece Bus Tour]

bus tour day one
Map data ©Google 2013

This excursion is an ancient history buff’s dream! Unfortunately, it did not include the ruins at Ancient Corinth, but there’s only so much one can cram into four days. Incentive to return, wouldn’t you say?

Day One Itinerary:

Leave by the coastal road for the Corinth Canal (short stop). Drive on and visit the theatre of Epidaurus, famous for its remarkable acoustics. Then proceed to the town of Nafplion, (short stop), drive on to Mycenae and visit the archaeological site. Depart for Olympia through the central Peloponnesus and the towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis. Dinner and overnight in Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games.

We left Athens in the early morning and soon came upon the Corinth Canal, which is extremely narrow, with very high walls. Ideal place for Bungee jumping, as was advertised there. Due to a malfunctioning memory card, my photos didn’t turn out, so I hope you don’t mind this one, from Wikipedia:

corinth canal
Wikimedia Commons photo by Alterego, released under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License{{GFDL}}

A few metres further, there is a unique, submersible bridge:

corinth canal bridge upcorinth canal bridge down

Next stop was the Theatre of Epidaurus, a world-famous landmark, dating back to the fourth century B.C.. It is still in use today and known for its exceptional acoustics, which were tested by several people, who sang or yodelled at centre stage. Amazing sound!

epidaurus entrance
epidaurus front view
Front view
epidaurus steps
The limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify high-frequency sounds from the stage.

After Epidaurus, we drove on to the charming town of Nafplion, aka Nafplio. It was the first capital of the new Greek state between 1823 and 1834 and according to mythology, founded by Náfplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus (Danaida) Anymone. Its history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War alike.

On the way in, sits a monument, known as “The Bavarian Lion”. This was commissioned by Ludwig of Bavaria, father of Otto, first King of Greece, in memory of the Bavarian soldiers in Otto’s escort who died during the typhoid epidemic in Nafplio, (which devastated the area between 1833 and 1834). The sculptor, Christian Siegel, (first Professor of Sculpture at Athens Polytechnik), completed the work in 1841. Please excuse the glare marks; shots were taken through the bus window and neither my camera nor photo editing skills are that sophisticated:

bavarian lionbavarian lion closeup

The Fortress of Bourtzi sits in the middle of the harbour.
Built in 1471
to protect against pirates, it was used as a hotel from
1930 to 1970 and now serves as host to a yearly Summer Music Festival:

Bourtzi fortress, Nafplion

Town centre, known as Philellenes Square, with the Fortress of Palamidi in the background:

Nafplion town centre

The Fortress of Palamidi was built during the second Venetian occupation, in the early 18th century. It is said that one must climb 999 steps to reach the top, but, according to some, the reality is more like 897. Regardless, we had neither the time nor the stamina to attempt that!

fortress of palamidi

After Nafplion, we proceeded to Mycenae, one of the major centres of Greek civilization in the second millenium, BC:

mycenae plan

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By now, I was on a “history high” and couldn’t wait for the next day!

©D.D.B. 2013 (except as noted)

Coming up: Ancient Olympia and The Gulf of Corinth

What’s YOUR dream destination?

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Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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18 thoughts on “GREEK ODYSSEY – PART III

  1. Thanks for tipping me off to your post! It would have been awesome to see it back then… or even know a little more about them and the Minoans. Your trip didn’t happen to end up in Knossos, did it?

    1. Yes; total history high! 😀 To visit Greece was my lifelong dream come true. Glad you enjoyed the photos and thanks so much for reading these posts. Happy New Year!

  2. Hi Debbie
    I love your journey through Greece, the photos are wonderful. I am just sorry we did not get the chance to meet up while you were here.
    Have a great weekend

    1. Hi Pauline; Glad you’re enjoying the photos. 🙂 I was thinking about you when we stopped in Heraklion, but we were only there for the morning. Thanks for visiting!

    2. Hi Pauline; Glad you’re enjoying the photos. 🙂 I was thinking about you when we stopped in Heraklion, but we were only there for the morning. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Debbie, how beautiful, I love the Fortress of Palamidi the most. That image really makes me want to visit there someday. It must be mind boggling to be in areas that we around in BC times. I can’t imagine. And 999 steps, I bet people were not overweight in those times 🙂 Great photos Debbie.

    1. Hi Lisa! It was truly amazing and I wish we could have spend more time in Nafplion, but we were only there for a couple of hours. Definitely no overweight people back in the day! It would take me hours to climb up there. LOL Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  4. This was awesome, Debbie! Holy smokes so just how wide IS that canal? And a submersible bridge – that’s like right out of a James Bond movie! The Theatre of Epidaurus would be amazing but I would hope I could take it in through a peaceful silence if only for a few minutes. I would be curious about trying out the acoustics too! Wow 900 some steps to climb up to the Fortress of Palamidi?? I think I would have to give it a try. I enjoyed this post! 🙂

    1. Hi Mike; Glad you enjoyed the post; it’s part of a continuing series. This trip was fantastic and I’m reliving it all again by sharing it here. 🙂 We were only in Nafplion for a couple of hours, so didn’t have time to climb up to the Fortress. It would have taken me hours, between the asthma and arthritis. LOL

  5. Very interesting history. Lovely pictures of the vacation. Such a great way to keep the vacation of a lifetime alive.


    1. Hi Mary; Yes, it’s wonderful to be reliving it all with these posts! Gives me travel fever though. Can’t go anywhere now – too broke. 😛 I’ll be posting lots more in the weeks to come, so stay tuned. Thanks for visiting.