Corinth - Ancient Ruins and Canal

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May 29th 2011
Published: May 29th 2011
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Souinon to Corinth

Monday 9th May 2011

School, Laundry and Domestics followed by walk along beach.

Tuesday 10th May 2011

A short drive to the ruins of Ancient Corinth or Korinth which in antiquity was a city-state (polis) on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta.
In classical times, Corinth rivaled Athens and Thebes in wealth, based on the Isthmian traffic and trade and hosted the Isthmian Games. At the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC 400 Corinthians are listed as fighting with the Spartan 300 against Persians and Corinth played a major part in the Peloponnesian Wars.
The Romans destroyed Corinth following a siege in 146 BC, when they entered the city they put all the men to the sword and sold the women and children into slavery before they torched the it. Julius Caesar refounded the city as Colonia in 44 BC shortly before his assassination. Later it was criticized for its wealth, and for the luxurious, immoral (by Christian standards) and vicious habits of the people. It had a large mixed population of Romans, Greeks, and Jews.
The apostle Paul first visited the city (AD 51 or 52) and resided here for eighteen months (see Acts 18:1-18). He wrote two of his epistles to the Christian community at Corinth, the First Epistle to the Corinthians and the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. The first Epistle reflects the difficulties of maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan city.
We stood where Paul addressed the citizens of Corinth and tried to imagine the scene.
After our visit we travelled the short distance to Isthmia camping where Yvette and Fernand who we had met in San Marino several weeks before were well established.

Wednesday 11th May 2011

Morning - schoolwork and domestics. Lunchtime soiree with Yvette and Fernand sampling the local wine and ouzo sat in the sunshine facing the beach - very pleasant indeed.
Evening walk to a local taverna with Y&E for dinner.

Thursday 12th May 2011

Wedding Anniversary - lazy beach day and Roast Chicken with Giant beans washed down with local wine - excellent.

Friday 13th May 2011

Drive to the Corinth Canal to see it up close by walking over the road / pedestrian bridge that crosses it. The canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former an island. The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 6.3 kilometres (3.9 mi) in length and was built between 1881 and 1893.
The Corinth Canal is considered a great technical achievement for its time. It saves the 700-kilometre (430 mi) journey around the Peloponnesus for smaller ships, but since it is only 24 metres (79 ft) wide it is too narrow for modern ocean freighters. The canal is nowadays mostly used by tourist ships; 11,000 ships per year travel through the waterway. The water in the canal is 8 metres (26 ft) deep. At the maximum, the walls are 52 metres high. At each end of the canal, seashore roads cross using submersible bridges that are lowered to the canal bottom to allow maritime traffic to pass. After the bridge rises to the top and before the cars cross, children run out and pick up fish that come up with the bridge on its flat surface.

Lunch as promised to the boys at Goody's nearby. Goody's is Greece's biggest fast food company and one of the most well-reputed firms in Greece. It is the leading firm in fast-food restaurants of Greece having left behind the international chain McDonald's. The boys duly gave it the thumbs up !

Afternoon on the beach and our first swim in the sea - still quite chilly or should I say bracing ?

On our last evening here Yvette and Fernand kindly invited us to join them with some Greek friends at a local village taverna where we were welcomed like old friends and had a delicious selection of Greek food and wine at a very reasonable price. A lovely evening of Greek / Belgian hospitality.

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