Don't look down

Trip Start Feb 10, 2006
Trip End Mar 07, 2006

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Thursday, March 2, 2006

Getting to the airport was a breeze. We walked to the nearest Metro stop with an elevator, only about a block from the Athens Imperial. As we waited for the train we practiced the language even laughing at ourselves. We took the train out to the airport and made our way to the rental car counter.

The woman at the counter was very helpful and gave me a handful of maps. Cory was going to be doing most of the driving though there were three of us that had our international drivers license. We were given keys and we wandered out to the parking lot. We found our little white fiat.

We took about 30 minutes trying to figure out how we were going to get 6 people and all of their luggage into the little van. We finally all got situated and Jeremiah spilled his sprite all over his lap. Looked like he was stuck being sticky for the next few hours.

Cory was doing a great job driving. I don't think that any of the rest of us would have done as well. We were making pretty good time.

We decided to go to Corinth on the way to our final destination of Nafplio. We wound through narrow streets wondering if we were going to be able to fit, hoping that we weren't going to pass anyone. We found a parking place and pulled in under a tree. The ruins of Ancient Corinth were straight ahead.

Jeremiahs pants, with the sprite stain, were just too tempting to one of the bees. Jeremiah looked down and there was a bee drinking the sweet nectar of his pants. I was laughing my butt off. I had to take a picture. It is spring and all the trees are blossoming. When you walk under them you can hear the hum of a thousand bees. We are just hoping that the bee on Jeremiahs pants doesn't tell all of its friends.

The ruins are empty except for our little group. We decide to see the museum first. Inside the museum are all of the artifacts, sculptures and mosaics found in the area. 

Corinth is a site known to most Christians as the pulpit from which Paul preached to the Corinthians.. It would also be the basis for the first and second Corinthians in the New Testament. The ruins are in great condition and there are some archaeologist that were working in one of the roman bath ruins. I guess that they are continually finding artifacts. 

We enjoyed the ruins and had noticed some sort of fort on top of the cliffs overlooking the ancient ruins of Corinth. we decided that we had to go up and check it out. We didn't know if it was open to tourist or not. We decided to ask at the little place that we decided to eat lunch.

Just around the corner from the ancient ruins of Corinth is a little restaurant. We were the only people there. Instead of menus the gentleman running the place led us inside and showed us what he had. We pointed at what looked good and sat down under the awning outside. The food was delicious and the owner so sweet. The entertainment was great too. We watched the cars try to navigate the narrow streets. Since the shop was right at a corner we watched tour buses try to turn around in a area not big enough for a smart car.

On our walk back to the rental van we passed a shop full of pottery. Inside was a man making pottery. Cory and I went in to check it out. We talked about our own art interests. We picked out a couple of small pots to bring home for our dog sitter and our airport transports. The gentleman was eating raisins and insisted that we try some. Now I don't normally like Raisins but these were fantastic. They were white raisins and tasted so sweet they were like candy. The man told us that the fort on top of the hill was open and that the road was paved all the way up. He said it was only about a 15 minute drive.

We started up the road. Now mind you, the van was front wheel drive. The back of the van was loaded down with all of our luggage and the majority of our passengers. Not a great combo. The beginning of the journey was good. Paul was a little freaked out by the heights and couldn't force his self to look out the window. Maybe that was best. We passed a wrecked van on the way up that had rolled off of the road some time in the past. There were no guard rails and the road was narrow. We just kept hoping not to pass anyone on the way up.

We were almost to the top when we rounded the corner and found dirt road. Cory was trying to get us near the entrance but when the front wheels hit the dirt road they started to spin and the van died. Everyone in the van was freaking out. Directly behind us was a drop straight down. We couldn't get the van started again so Cory put it into neutral and let it roll back off of the incline while turning it into a flat area large enough to park the van.

Whew! Today wasn't our day to die. Everyone piled out of the van, relieved and safe. Paulie still didn't feel comfort at being at the top of this mountain. Cory, Heather and I were the only ones that were brave enough or energetic enough to go up to the fort. The view from here was beautiful and the fort was amazing. The color of the stone was so rich and the way the light and shadows played over the partially intact walls was amazing.

We had passed some hikers on the way up in the van. They must have climbed straight up because they arrived as we were leaving. We had only climbed from the van to the second level of the fort. These guys had climbed from the bottom of the hill where we had lunch. They weren't even winded and we were panting like dogs. Have we gotten that old or are we just that out of shape. I guess that just makes me glad that I am doing this now. The older I get the harder things like this are going to be. 

We are now on our way to Nafplio. It is a beautiful little town on the Aegean sea. I am ready to leave the cities and get some local flavor. We have already noticed that the people in the small towns are a lot warmer than those in Athens.
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