Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Monday, October 22nd, 2007 Nafplio Fortress and Ancient Mycenae Ruins

Packed and ready to go by 8 am…that’s when breakfast was served…we enjoyed another great Greek breakfast before hitting the road again. For those who travel; apparently breakfast in Greece is more like Germany than Italy or France…much more substantial. It’s easy to make it on two meals a day because of the big breakfast.

It’s raining heavily at times and then we have periods of sunshine. We drove to Nafplio first and enjoyed visiting the large fortress called Palamiti. Located at the top of a 216 m high rock outcropping, it was built by the Venetians between 1711 and 1714. Very impressive and covers a vast area; some restoration allows you to visualize the massive size of this impressive Military masterpiece. It’s big enough that we all got separated during our self-guided tour but finally managed to find each other in time to leave before the rains hit again. We did get to see a colorful rainbow as we headed down the hill and north towards our next destination.

We arrived at Mycenae by 10:30 am; our first stop was at the tomb of Agamemnon, an immense beehive-shaped chamber where they found a gold mask (per docent Jim) when it was uncovered they found flesh stuck to the inside of the mask…not just bones!

Then on to the Citadel of Mycenae entering through the Lion Gate we visited the various areas ending at the top of the hill at the Palace….all ruins so one needs their imagination to really enjoy this adventure! Jim’s biggest thrill was the Lion Gate; he remembers as a child of about eight years of age finding it in the Encyclopedias that his mother purchased for the family. The start of a lifetime of dreaming??? Whatever…it gave him a special thrill to see this particular site and with a grandson no less. I was thrilled that it was not raining at this particular time; very windy but no rain!

Back to the car we headed towards our destination for the day: Patra and Brian’s Ferry Boat for his trip back to Italy. We got on the Toll Road before long and headed along the coast towards Patra; opps…suddenly they were making everyone exit the Toll Road. Apparently there was some type of problem. The traffic was horrific! Bumper to bumper, stop and go and never ending; since we were on a narrow road paralleling the Toll Road after about an hour we could see that traffic was once again flowing but we had no way to return to the Toll Road. And to make matters worst, it was raining steadily by this time. We had to be in Patra by 3:30 pm for Brian to pickup his ticket. As the minutes and hours ticked by; we definitely had our doubts about making it there on time. It was just after 3 pm and about 30 kilometers from Patra when we reached a large town with on ramps and regained the use of the Toll Road. Jim used all of his driving skills and Brian read the signs and maps and we actually arrived at the Port by 3:50 pm. Brian picked up his ticket and we found a small Greek fast food place at the port for sandwiches before he boarded the ship for his overnight journey back to Amalfi in Italy.

Still raining we headed back up the road for about fifteen miles to our hotel for the night in Rodini at a place called the Rodini Beach Hotel; sits right on the water with wonderful views in both directions from our balcony. Continues to rain as I write this journal; tomorrow we head across the beautiful new suspension bridge to the northern shores and our trip to the Meteora area.

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