Wednesday, 5 April 2017
The big smoke-s
A car trip to our two nearest cities, Argos and Nafplio. Now just over an hour on the new road which cuts off the winding drive through the mountain villages and on the other new road, recently opened, which connects the ancient theatre of Epidavros with Mycenae, the military stronghold of the 4,000 year old Mycenean empire, both popular tourist stops.
Twenty minutes out is the Psifta lagoon, resting place for migratory birds, ducks, geese, sea birds and (drum roll) ... flamingoes.
The city of Nafplio overlooked by the fortress of Palamidi
A quick stop to choose new glasses for the youngest member of the family
St Peters church
Another 15 minutes and we're at the city of Argos. We stop to search out spare parts for a washing machine and carry out requests from friends and family. Some have medical appointments. All well there.
No time for wine and a plate of real greek food. Just a quick coffee and tiropita (cheese pie) break
Plenty of crumbs for the pigeons while we wait endlessly for the two grandaughters who take their sweet time using the 'ladies' and taking selfies in the big mirror
When the grandaughters do finally appear they opt for take-away souvlaki with lots of gyro, tzatziki and fries wrapped in pita bread
Larissa castle looming over the town of Argos. Down in the town there are loads of ruins, ancient market place, theatre, Roman baths. There are remains on every corner but too hard to photo from a moving car
Tiryns, between Nafplio and Argos.
Supposedly birthplace of Hercules, this ancient citadel has cyclopean walls and tunnels which are thought to have been made by giants. The original fort dates back 7,000 years
Back in Nafplio we stopped at our favourite bakery 'Sugar and Flour' (Zahari kai Alevri) for bread, huge sourdough loaves, bagels, cheese sticks
and ice cream!
Just enough time for a quick shop-till-you-drop at LIDLS. This is our days excitement. Doesn't take much to amuse us hillbillies who see a large supermarket half a dozen times a year
And if the shopping gets boring then you can use those long aisles as a race track
Missed one car ferry and waited almost an hour for the next.
When I first arrived many years ago there were two car ferries working from both sides, leaving every twenty minutes. The first change came with austerity. We were down to one ferry every half hour. Now it is every half hour in the morning when delivery trucks are bringing over supplies and from early afternoon it is every hour.
Well before the wetlands and the last village of Kalloni we are going flatout trying to reach the harbour before the ferry draws up its gangplank. You can imagine the frustration of being caught behind some slow farm vehicle and reaching the quay just as the ferry pulls out.
Our last stop of the day is the petrol station to drop off a bag of spare parts for a friend. The petrol station people know everyone of course and it is at the hub of the island, where the crossroads meet and an ideal place to leave things to be picked up by other locals.
Duty done, we climb up the mountain road to unload our one little bag of groceries and have a glass of wine (and raki).