29 may Athens (GREECE)

According to the myth, Athena played with Poseidon the honor of giving his name to the city. The gods of Olympus ruled that the new settlement should take the name of the deity that had left mortals the most valuable inheritance. Athena (also goddess of wisdom) gave birth to an olive tree, a symbol of peace and prosperity; Poseidon (god of the sea) struck a rock with his trident and turned it into a horse.

The gods believed that Athena's gift would have been more useful to the city, providing nourishment, oil and wood to its citizens.

30 may Athens (GREECE)

Keramicos. City cemetery from the 12th century BC until the Roman times, it was originally a small settlement inhabited by potters, attracted by the clay of the IridanosRiver. Because of the frequent floods, the area was abandoned and turned into necropolis.

From there we go to the Zeus Olimpio temple. The route from Monastiraki to Syntagma Square is very touristic, rich, lively... almost stoning and contrasting with the various alleyways that, more humbly, spread in the various directions perpendicular to it.

Here you see true Athens, the one that slams, the one of the closed and abandoned shops, with scattered  dusty and forgotten hotels, of those who sell fake iphone or rayban on the street, of the Africans with bracelets that pretend to be from Jamaica, the one of the economic crisis, of the new poor who almost clash with the beautiful and vanity Ermou Street.

The Temple of Zeus Olimpio is the largest of all of Greece. The construction work lasted about 700 years and ended with Adriano.

He loved Athens very much, though, like all the Roman emperors, he had transfigured many works from the city to bring them to Rome. The arch bearing its name is a solemn marble monument rising at the intersection between the busy Leoforos Vassilissis Olgas and Leoforos Vassilissis Amalias.
The ancient history of Athens is too much linked to mythology so that at times it is almost impossible to distinguish myth from reality.

31 may Nafplio (GREECE)

Today we leave the Greek capital for Nafplio!

We enter the Peloponnese through small villages, thus having the opportunity to taste and enjoy some of that traditional Greece that we so desired.

Here are small villages of a few simple houses, biblical olds, stick in their hands, wearing jackets too big and sitting in circles chatting like old thinkers; an old woman dressed all black returns home with some vegetable in a bag; Orthodox altars appear here and there; goats browse on a burned bush from the sun, exterminated fields of olive trees... so many scenes that looked like parts of movies like "Mamma mia", "The Mandolin of Captain Corelli" or "Mediterranean"!

[Stefy]: "We are staying at a suite at the Grand Sarai Hotel, a wonderful hotel located in the heart of this beautiful town.

Some restaurants along the waterfront invite you for a traditional lunch! A good moussaka and the usual Greek salad make us, as always, love this Mediterranean cuisine!
Dulcis in fundo: some loukoumades, ball-shaped donuts served with honey and cinnamon, to end this delicious lunch! "

01 june Nafplio (GREECE)

Nafplio is a maze of lanes by pastel colors, rhododendrons hanging from above, kittens sleep quietly on the long white staircases, the scent of olive oil soap and above all the wonderful views at every corner.

It is located in a beautiful environment on a small port dominated by the Palamedes Fortress; the town is enriched by lovely narrow lanes, elegant Venetian-style buildings and neoclassical palaces.

Today we move to a delightful apartment, right in the historic center. We are welcomed by Magda, a nice localwoman. We talk about the crisis that is kneeling on these people and we are almost moved when she thanks us for our visit because "with tourism we help Greece ... not only economically but above all psychologically!" And she offers us a nice dish of aubergines and freshly baked potatoes!

We get to Epidaurus in 45-minute bus ride. This town had a great fame throughout the Greek and Roman world because it’s a place considered miraculous for the treatments performed.

People came here from far away to the shrine of Asclepius (God of medicine) and get healed.

Today's visitors are drawn to this archaeological site especially for its exceptionally well-preserved theater.

The theater of Epidaurus is famous for its excellent acoustics: the sound produced by a coin dropped into the center of the proscenium can be heard even from the farthest stairs.

02 june Nafplio (GREECE)

Palamedes Fortress dominates the city from above! This vast and spectacular citadel stands, in fact, on the top of a rocky boulder from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the sea and the surrounding hinterland.

Built by Venetians, it is a masterpiece of military architecture, its walls enclose a series of independent bastions located in different places of the hill but strategically important; you can even climb it facing the seemingly endless stairs... and despite Nora we begin climbing... she, enclosed in her chest, sometimes glimpses out here and there... then shefalls asleep quietly...

The exact number of stairs is subject to discussion, according to the legend they are 999 but, actually, they should be many less!

The view and the panorama give you back the fatigue of the climb...

 

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