From Olympia continue the trip through Ancient Greece by driving on to Pylos on South West of the Peloponnese. Planned to stay one night – ended up staying three.
Pylos looks our over the Bay of Navarene – famous from the capture of the Spartans by the Athenians during the Athenian/ Spartan wars. But more recently famous as the scene of the naval battle between the Sultan (Turkey) and the British, Russian and French fllet in 1828 – leading shortly afterwards to the Independence of Greece.
Stayed in a centrally located hotel – Karalis City Hotel – with a view out over the harbour and the bay.
The Castle at Pylos (only 300m from the centre) is well worth a visit – and includes an excellent museum with great history of the naval battle of 1828. Also
includes great range of artifacts recovered from various local sites.
Found Pylos a great place to stay – good local beaches, good restaurants, nice village and plenty to do. And we experienced the only rain of our trip – all of five minutes.
From Pylos we drove to Nafplio – about a three and a half hour journey (50% motorway). I had been to Nafplio in 1981 – and was looking forward to the return trip. We actually based ourselves at a beach hotel about 15km outside Nafplio (at Tolo Beach).
Hotel itself was disappointing – but on the beach so no need to use the pool when the sea is directly outside your hotel. Spent a couple of evenings in Nafplio – lovely pedestrianised areas, great selection of restaurants and shops, street artists – with the magnificant castle in the background.
Nafplio was a perfect base for revisitng two of the highlights of my 1981 visit: the theatre at Epidaurus and Agamemnon’s palace at Mycenae.
The theatre at Epidaurus is famous for the outstanding acoustics – and we all certified this by having one person speak from the centre of the theatre and another listen from the top row. Just to sit there for an hour in the late evening sunshine, looking out over the groves of trees.
Also took the opporuntiy to run on the track at Epidaurus.
Fun to meet with someone else also revisiting Epidaurus for the first time in 36 years.
There is something magical about Mycenae – about a 30 minute drive out from Nafplio (on the way you pass Tiryns – the former palace of Menelaus).
We enter Mycenae via the Lion’s Gate and walk up through the site.
The views from the top demonstrate the commanding position and location – looking out over the plain and down to the sea in the distance.
And the museum at Mycenae is well worth an hour or two before leaving for a swin back at Nafplio
All of these sites just remind me of the importance of Greece in the history of civilisation and Europe. It is so important that we preserve these sites and encourage younger people to experience and enjoy them.