Sunday, 10 May 2015

Ancient Korinthos and Athens (Beth)

After our lazy day cooling off on Tolo beach we set out for Korinthos in the late afternoon and enjoyed another lovely journey.

As well as all the spring flowers we are seeing, we kept noticing an amazing smell in the air. We eventually tracked it down to the orange blossom which is currently everywhere. The perfume is really quite intense and adds another element altogether to our journeys.

I hope he doesn't wet the bed later

Another thing I should mention at this point is what I have christened the 'peeping' birds, because of the sound they make.  I heard them in Italy, and we have all noticed them in Greece, mostly at night. Any ornithologists (Mamma) want to enlighten us?!

Temple of Apollo

The Camperstop book had advised us that it would be ok to overnight just outside the entrance to the site at Korinthos and we were glad to see that we would be able to park in the shade.

Greek Wild camping spot #4

We had a little wander down the parade of shops to find some postcards and somehow managed to talk ourselves in to trying yet more Greek food at a local restaurant (the prices in Greece are much more reasonable than those in Italy). We had a lovely chat with the waitress, who was originally from Canada but had opted for what she described as a better quality of life in Greece. She suggested some more sights for us to visit and also introduced us to some of the local strays.

More new friends

Apparently in this part of Korinthos the locals collectively look after the dogs and ensure that they get food and treatment where necessary. We could not help but wish that we had brought the puppies from Argos with us to be taken care of, although we know that they wouldn't have survived the night baking in the van in Tolo. Hopefully they were lucky and found a good home.

After dinner, we had just enough time to wander around the ruins of the ancient city, which was a beautiful time of day to do it as the sun was just setting and there was nobody else around.

After a much cooler night, we woke in the morning to find a group of locals outside the van, all ready to do a community litter pick of the site. Tom joined in with the some of the children and politely refused the offer of a packet of crisps from the father of one of the kids, using his best sign language of course, which he is becoming really adept at.

Athens was a relatively short drive from Korinthos and we managed to navigate our way to the Acropolis with no major dramas, to park in a free car park just outside, which our book told us it was possible to overnight in.

After a quick lunch, we stepped out into the heat once again and set off up the hill. The entrance price was relatively cheap, and the ticket was actually valid for four days across seven sites, but this wasn't clear from the ticket and we weren't offered a map.

Although the boys have more or less given up even feigning interest in ancient ruins by now, I personally found the site very interesting and was glad to fill in several large gaps in my very limited knowledge.

When we visited Italy, we found it disappointing that in sites such as Pompei and Herculaneum, many of the artefacts had been removed and were on display in museums on different sites, not where they belonged. In Korinthos, many of the artefacts were stored in an on-site museum, which would seem to make more sense and made the visit much more absorbing.

From what I read at the Acropolis and later supplemented with Google, I was somewhat disappointed to learn that the Greeks blame us Brits for what they describe as the worst of the damage to the Parthenon; the removal of the so called 'Elgin Marbles'. So, if we want to see this particular part of the Parthenon, we shall have to go to the British Museum in London!

Don't touch!
After an hour or so walking around the Acropolis, and Tom being told off twice by staff for touching parts of marble he shouldn't, we decided to call it a day as it was by now early evening and we still had to get to our campsite - the  car park not being an appealing option - and in any case, our toilet was not emitting the most pleasing of aromas after two days stewing at thirty degrees.

Quite warm

It was our intention to overnight nearby and return to Athens for more exploring on Sunday, but Nathanial could see that the boys were getting tired of being traipsed around hot cities, and I wasn't exactly flourishing in the heat, so he said he was happy with what he had seen and would prefer it if we headed further north along the coast for a days' rest by another Greek beach.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry have no idea what your peeping bird is but I know about the Elgin marbles as we saw them in January at the British museum it appears throughout history we have done more than our share of stealing from other countries.
    Impressed with the boys litter picking I did some last night and will do a bit more now. lolxxx


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