Monday, June 27, 2011

Tour of Greece - day 1

Today was the start of our coach tour through Classical Greece.  First stop was the Corinth Canal, then on to Mycenae where the first thing we saw was Agamemnon’s Tomb.  They don’t really know it was his, but it’s the most elaborate in the area, so they think it must have been that of a member (or members) of the Royal Family.  It’s an enormous beehive shape, made of huge blocks of conglomerate, each row leaning in slightly further than the last until it meets at the top centre.  It was then covered with soil (and grass) to make it into an artificial hill.  Most impressive.  Then it was over to the site of the main settlement at Mycenae with its cyclopean (i.e. made by a Cyclops) walls.  It’s a giant archaeological site, and has been extensively excavated, but although I found it very interesting I must confess that I was more taken with the scenery around – lots of hills full of olive trees and orange trees.  Very beautiful.
After lunch it was off to Epidavros where there had been a temple to Asclepius (god of healing) and also a fantastic open air theatre (we were told it’s not technically an amphitheatre, but that’s exactly how most of us would think of it) with the most fantastic acoustics.  It’s the best preserved ancient theatre and it’s still in use for theatrical performances.
Final stop for the day was the town of Nafplio where we wandered around the old town for a little while, but most things were shut except for cafes, and restaurants that were setting up.  Interesting to look at, but a bit dead.

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