Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MY GREEK ODYSSEY PART II

By: Anthony Parcon, CPA



The Canal and Sinking Bridge at the Isthmus of Corinth:  St. Paul Was Here Too


After my first day at Meteora and second day at The Acropolis, I headed south going to the Peloponesse peninsula.  One of my destinations was the biblical city of Corinth for its renowned Canal and Sinking Bridge.  From my hotel I rode the metro train going to Omonia, Athens' most notorious district where I can find a bus going to the terminal for south-bound buses.  At first I had a hard time asking in Greek where to purchase the bus tickets.  In my fourth attempt, I was able to secure one.  Travel time from Athens to Isthmus of Corinth is one hour.  Although I wanted to take a siesta during the trip, I can't resist being wide awake during the entire journey.



According to the travel documentary "Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage", it was the mad Roman Emperor Nero who first attempted to build a canal between the narrow land bridge connecting the mainland Athens to the Peloponesse peninsula.  He made the first dig using a silver shovel and left his 6,000 Jewish slaves to do the rest.  At that time (67 A.D.), such undertaking was deemed madness so it was abandoned after his tragic death.  It was only during the late 1800s that the project was reconsidered after several false starts.


A combination of blue and white always reminds me of Greece and so is the turquoise blue color of the cool and tranquil waters of the Corinth Canal connecting the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea.  With its unique submersible bridge which is unparallel anywhere on earth, this attraction is something really one should not take for granted when visiting Greece.  My only regret is I was not able to witness the actual sinking during my visit since not a single huge vessel passed the canal and I have an 11AM ticket going to my next destination, Nafplio.


Nafplio:  A Taste of Venice in Greece

On my way to this scenic town, I was able to have a glimpse of the Peloponesse countryside during harvest time.  It was a very relaxing view of verdant plains with vineyards ready for picking, succulent and luscious olives on the branches and and a variety of leafy vegetables that will soon fill the plates on the tables fit for a great Mediterranean dinner.


Walking along the charming cobblestoned streets Nafplio, the capital of First Hellenic Republic with Neoclassical houses, balconies adorned with colorful cascading bougainvillea and other flowering plants, Turkish fountain, striking museums, and impressive outdoor tavernas/cafes is like stepping into a dream world, a fairytale.  It is not surprising why anyone could fall inlove with this picturesque and historic town.  Since everything here is within a walking distance, one should have comfortable shoes and leave all his things, except for the camera that is, to stroll around hassle-free.



Palamidi Castle:  The Stairway to Heaven

After taking a short walk at the romantic streets of Nafplio, one should take the 999 steps climb to the town's most iconic landmark, the Palamidi Castle, a fortress proudly nestling like a king on his throne 216 meters above sea level.  Composed of complex bastion with water reservoirs, munitions depots, food storage, murder holes and barracks, this structure built by the Venetian invaders will definitely offer your exhausted body the most spectacular view of Argolic gulf and the Mycenaean plain.



Other parts of the Odyssey of Mr. Parcon:

PART I

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