Nafplio and Mycenae

Trip Start May 22, 2005
Trip End Aug 09, 2005

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Friday, June 3, 2005

June 1
We made our way down from our pension (lodgings) and boarded a bus for Mycenae. The trip was pleasant through the Greek countryside, but unnecessarily long as it detoured through the city of Argos to pick up shoppers. There was much chattering (and more than a little bit of odour) when they boarded the bus which continued until they departed in the modern-day town of Mycenae. We continued with the other tourists to the ancient site and first visited the museum. It is unfortunate for the site that most of the interesting artifacts have been taken to the National Museum in Athens, but we saw them while we were there so it was interesting to see where they had come from. This is where the gold "Mask of Agamemmnon" was discovered, amongst other treasures. We wandered through the ancient ruins of the palace and surrounding fortifications. The view of the surrounding mountains and valleys was amazing and it was easy to see why the spot was chosen for their town. The Lion's Gate was awe-inspiring and the surrounding Cyclopean walls were constructed of massive stones. There was a cave to the underground cistern (well), used for water when the town was under siege. Kevin was afraid to go down and snapped pictures from the entrance. Rebecca went part way down, but it got too dark to see and the spider webs became larger and larger. We picked up some Hercules wine (a "special price") and caught the bus back to Nafplio. We picked up some meat, cheese, and bread and spent the evening out on the terrace overlooking the water, watching the sun set.

June 2
It was an early morning as we had to catch the bus to Athens at 8:10 a.m. Once there, we picked up a few items that had caught our eye the first time we perused the shops. After our purchases, we caught the bus to the airport and boarded the flight to Rome. Fortunately our flights were both on time and we quickly boarded our connecting flight to Paris. Arriving in Paris about 7:30 p.m. we tried to find our way to the metro, but no one was very helpful. It turned out that the metro workers were on strike and so we didn't need to get tickets, but one lady had pointed us in the direction to buy tickets; confounding us even further as there was no one there. The worst sin you can commit in Paris is speaking English. Maybe they are still sore about the Hundred Years War? It seems that Paris is a place of extremes -- the rude people are very rude and unhelpful, but the nice people go out of their way to break the language barrier and help you out. By the time we got to our hotel, the Gerando, we had been travelling for 15 hours just to find out that they had given away our room because we had not arrived with the rest of the Busabout tour that day. (The room was booked through the bus company that we will be joining in Paris, and a down payment had been made). Kevin tried to explain to the desk clerk that everyone has to join the Busabout tour at some point, and that no one was born on the bus, but conveniently the man no longer understood English, and could not understand our frustration either at 11:00 at night. He directed us to their "sister" hotel, the Bellevue, which fortunately had a room for us but was about a mile away. After a long day it was straight to bed. Paris had better improve!
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