Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Tired Legs

This morning we decided to climb the nearly 1000 stairs to the top of a fortress overlooking Nafplio (it stands about 700 feet above the harbor). The worst part was that we also had to climb down again. The view was breathtaking and well worth it, but I'm not sure our calf and thigh muscles think so.

After lunch we headed to ancient Mycenae, only about 1/2 hour away, to do some more exploring. Ends up that we had to do even more climbing of the ancient site (our legs were screaming in protest: NOOO, not again!). It's amazing to imagine the kingdom of such grandeur existed at this location. There is still ongoing excavations at the site, which is pretty cool when you realize you are walking around in a living, breathing archaeological location. Additionally, we explored an underground cistern (for well water) with a French couple we met right there. We were unaware that a flashlight was needed to go through the tunnel (and MORE stairs, I might add) but they had read the guide book and had one for the four of us to use. We communicated with the limited French Jazmine spoke and were able to exchange their email address in order to send a picture we took (in the dark). Mycenea is one of the must-see ancient sites in Greece, and we were glad to have experienced it.

Hopping back into the rental car, on our way to Delphi. We started on the main highway (with its one-and-a-half lanes in each direction - we kid you not, there are actually only one and a half lanes! It's like the Greeks got tired of making lanes and decided that was enough). It followed the coast and we crossed what some Greeks claim is the largest bridge in the world. I don't know about that, but it was impressive - especially as we drove by it on the highway again and again as we searched in vain for the exit ramp to get to the bridge ("Hey look kids, it's Big Ben!")

After the main highway, it was a nice change to take a twisting little road along the other coast on our way into the mountains that house the ancient Delphi site. We stopped to stretch legs and felt the first spray of the Mediterranean sea on our faces -nice! On up the spaghetti road, hairpin turns and crazy motorcyclists and truck drivers, and into the little tourist town where we stayed. Tomorrow morning we visit the ancient ruins of Delphi.

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