Sunday, July 15, 2007

Boy... Its been 10 days since we've last posted... Sorry!!!

Well, we've had a very busy last week and a half.

The last time we checked in, we had just arrived in the island of Paros in the Cycladic chain of the Greece islands. We spent a week in Paros enjoying the laid back island and the beaches. While there we rented a 4 wheeler ATV a couple of days to explore kite beach for Matt and to check out Golden Beach on the east side of the island. We also braved the bus (so much better this time) to check out the Northern port city of Noussau.

We had wanted to visit the island of Delos earlier in our trip but had not been able to put it together. We were finally able to visit this wonderful archealogical site and the island of Mykonos with it. While Mykonos was not exactly our type of island (a bit too touristy), we loved Delos and would recommend that anyone visiting Greece must visit this archealogical sanctuary. We spent 2 1/2 hours and wished we had the whole day as the ancient trading city was wonderful. The island itself is just off the coast of Mykonos (and very windy), with no lodging, towns or anything else on this small island.

On Wednesday, July 11, we left the islands to head back to mainland Greece to start our tour of the Pelopenesse. The ferry was the busiest that we had seen and very hot so it was a long 4+ hours back. Angela was quite glad to have traveled well on it and not to be sick. We rented a car from Thrifty and they met at the port of Pireaus with it. We then had to negotiate our way out to the Pelopenesse peninsula. It was a wild ride with traffic going everywhere. We discovered that red roads were OK, that dark purple roads were fantastic (equivalent of our interstates), and it was easy to get lost even with a map that had both Greek and English on it. Overall, we made it to our first stop of Ancient Corinth. We decided not to prebook anything on this trip so we found a rooms to let (and not that is not Rooms & Toilet as Angela first thought)!!!

We had an early dinner and set out to explore the ruins of Ancient Corinth the next morning. We also visited the Acro Corinth, or the castle up on the hill. It had wonderful walls set high above the town. There were very few people and the sites were wonderful. Afterwards, we set out to explore the Corinth Channel built for shipping. It was amazing as it was built in the 1800's and sad that it is now obsolete due to the size of today's mega ships. We then set out to view the theater at Epidavros. It was built in the 1200's and is still in use today. We then set out for our stopping place for the night in Nafplio (Yes, we don't know how to pronounce it either).

We explored Nafplio and then set out to explore the Palamida which was the castle on the hill. It was actually a collection of 4 castles that could be defended against each other if needed. It was amazingly intact and a great walk. We then drove north to visit the 2500 BC ruins of Mycenae. There were mostly foundations left so it was a little hard to get the entire picture of the town, but the hilltop setting and the size of the sight were impressive. We then hopped in the car to make the 4 hour drive down to the SouthEast coast to the medival walled city of Momenvasia. It was wonderful once we finally got there. There were a number of U-turns as we later discovered that part of the road we wanted was gone due to road construction. We spent the next two nights in Momenvasia exploring the old town (both upper and lower town) and the new town.

Today, the 15th, we headed out for the long drive across the Pelopenesse to Ancient Olympia. We made the 4.5 drive with no Uturns and only got mildly lost in one city!!! Not too bad of a day. We have discovered that even though the map may show a bolded red road, there is no guarantee that you will not meet a very large bus on a one lane bridge that causes you to backup and get out of his way!! Overall, the drive was pretty smooth although the mountain passes were very narrow and steeply dropping off on one side. Its not exactly our idea of THE major road that crosses from East to West, its more like our back country roads in Colorado.

We are planning to be here another night at least so we can explore the site and museum tomorrow. From there we'll head north and see where we end up. The only requirement is that we are back in Athens on the 23rd for our flight to London to visit Pat & Ian. We are really looking forward to London.

I'll get some photos ready hopefully tonight or tomorrow and share them with you.

We have really enjoyed our time here in Greece although we think the week that we have left is just about right.

Later -
Angela & Matt

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