Ancient Mystras, Kalamata, Peloponnese Peninsula 28 to 29 June 2013
After arriving at Sparti and driving through this large town, we found the castle and fortress had closed for the day and will be open at 8.00am. We found a Van Park 10 minutes away from the fortress with a pool, restaurant, hot water and excellent WiFi called Castle View Camping. We had a swim in the pool as soon as we had connected to the power. It was wonderful.
The next morning, we were in out Camper having breakfast and the Park Manager delivered our fresh, hot bread – beautiful. The Parks we stay at often have fresh bread available in the morning.
After breakfast, we drove up to Mystras to see the Fortress and town.
century city built on top of the Myzithra hill and therefore naturally-fortified where the strong fortress was built in 1249. This played a very important role in the history of Byzantine Empire during its final centuries until it fell to the Turks in 1460. From 1262, when the Byzantines became the rulers of Mystras, the hill filled with houses, mansions and palaces, churches and fortified monasteries with 2
enclosure walls. The city became known for humanistic studies and the evolution of artistic trends in 15th
It was another very hot day and we had to do lots of walking and climbing hills to have a really good look at the old city. The only building we couldn’t go inside was the Palace as it was being restored. This building was massive and of really interesting architecture and building material (see photo).
By glancing through the photos, I hope you can get an idea of the state that this large, ancient city is in now. It’s quite impressive.
After about 3 hours we had “ticked all the boxes” and was satisfied and ready to move on. Each of these ruins charge anything from 4-7 euros entry and they all have pamphlets which have maps and description of the buildings. There are also many excellent interpretive signs that tell visitors what they are looking at so it’s quite easy to get the feel of the life of the old city.
We then drove back to Sparti where we went to the Olive Oil Museum – really interesting. The olive industry was an essential part
of the country’s economy. The museum told the story of the history of the olive oil industry as well as displayed the evolution of olive pressing machines, weights etc.
After talking to some fellow-travelers, we decided to drive from Sparti west, across a beautiful mountain range. The scenery was spectacular. It took us about 1 hour to do 9 kms!!!! About ½ way, when I was driving, I braked gently to go around a bend and I felt the back of the camper slip. It felt like a flat tyre. Sure enough the back right-hand tyre was as flat as a tack. We learned later that it was a faulty valve.
Here is the embarrassing part of the story – we couldn’t find the jack!! We know the previous owner had told us where it was, but do you think we could find it. Anyway, a Polish couple, also in a Fiat stopped and we used his jack. They were a lovely couple – even though we knew no Polish and they knew a dozen English words, we understood each other. While the fellows were changing the tyres, I spoke to the lady, Elizabeth and we both showed
each other where we had been and where we were going.
We exchanged addresses and he said their daughter speaks very good English and that we should visit them when we are in Poland next year. We will certainly do this.
With 4 inflated tyres , off we went across to Kalamata. For those of who love olives you may recognize this name as many of the olives we eat in Australia are from Kalamata. We then drove to Kalo Nero on the western coast of the Peninsula and drove up the coast to Olympia.
Tot: 1.596s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 12; qc: 34; dbt: 0.0099s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb