Blogs from Pelopennese, Greece, Europe - page 23


Europe » Greece » Pelopennese October 7th 2005

Woke to banging shutters, a bright but amazingly windy day. Explored the lower town, up and down alleys in this medieval metropolis. Odd bits and pieces in the town museum, worth a look. Watched the world go by. It would be easy to spend a few days or weeks here, a long way from anything - at least out of season. Later in the day we climbed the stairway to the deserted upper town. This one covered most of the top of the rock. Now in ruins except for the church. We of course continued to the top to the ruined citadel. Great views across to the mainland and to sea. In evening we went over to the mainland to a restaurant where is was a case of looking through what there was and then ... read more
On the rock
I can see the pub from here
in the "new" town

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese October 6th 2005

Need not have worried about the weather, the day dawned bright and sunny (again). Watched the sun light up the castle and the rock above us. Drove up to the entrance gate for an earlyish start - before any tour buses. The site at Mystras is a deserted medieval Byzantine town - although some parts were occupied until quite recently. There are lots of partly ruined and intact houses, churches and monasteries. There is also a large palace complex which is being restored. This part of the Byzantine Empire was lost to the Franks in the middle of the thirteenth century - they built a substantial castle on the top of the rock - and then recovered in the 1260s. It then developed into a centre of learning and administration for the later Empire. It ... read more
looking to the castle
Byzantine Churches
in the town

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese October 5th 2005

Wednesday 5 October: Across the Taigetes After breakfast we headed to the north end of the bay, left the car at the road end and set off in search of the old castle, Paleokastro - a few traces visible from the landward side. After a few minutes walk around the end of the promontory the castle came into view on the hilltop overlooking the sea. So we walked steadily up the hill and up through the rather decayed but still impressive gatehouse. Superb views looking back across the bay. Followed the wall walk around the outer barbican and then climbed to the citadel part of the ruins. A big site, originally a classical fortress a long time before the crusaders came this way. After a break from the sun under a convenient tree we walked ... read more
on the walls
your author
Androusa castle

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese October 4th 2005

Tuesday 4 October: Monasteries and castles Another bright, if crisp, morning. After an excellent breakfast. We decided to retrace our steps to Dmitsana and take the road down through the gorge. Several old monasteries le in the gorge, we went in search of the Philosophou, learning a little more of the greek alphabet at each sign! Found our way to the new monastery and were welcomed by a monk who insisted we partook of greek delight. We then went on the walk to the old monastery, up and down along a rough path to a crumbling ruin set on a cliff ledge. Amazing location. Took the dirt road to Prodromou clinging to the opposite side of the gorge, amazing views (and drops). Four wheel drive is a marvellous thing at times. Dropped down out of ... read more
Ancient Monastery church
on the way to the old Monastery

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese October 3rd 2005

Monday 3 October: into the hills The day was bright and sunny with glorious blue skies! After a leisurely breakfast on the terrace by the sea we tried to find a way up to the castle - and failed. No signs and no obvious way. We then headed inland past Olympia and then into the wild mountains. Beautiful wild country with winding roads and spectacular views. We turned away from the main road to go to Tropeia looking for the ruins of Akova castle. Managed to spot a small sign post and then drove four or five kilometres along a stone and mud track before coming to a stop at the sight of a small tower. Pushed our way through the undergrowth to this and then another before finding an open space with a stone ... read more
The vehicle
Akova tower?

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese October 2nd 2005

Sunday 2 October: a long day Awake early, ring Alitalia to check the bag has arrived. It has! After breakfast we drive back to the airport in glorious sunshine with lots of views south across to the mountains of the Peloponnese. So we pick up the bag and begin again. Rearrange today’s itinerary a bit to take account of the lost morning, decide to miss out on Acocorinth and put some kilometres on the car. The multilane motorway runs out at Corinth and we begin to experience “real Greek” driving. The A road has about a lane and half on each side and it is soon apparent that the idea is to pretend it is a dual carriageway. There is clearly a very different highway code in operation - solid white lines do not appear ... read more

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese October 1st 2005

In 2003 The Independent on Saturday travel section ran an article by William Dalrymple about a holiday he had had with his family in the Peloponnese. It was very evocative about the countryside and in particular about the sites - more Frankish (French Crusaders who ran this part of the world for a good part of the 13th century) and Byzantine Empire than classical Greek and Roman. I had kept the article and earlier in 2005 booked up fights to Athens and arranged to hire a 4 wheel drive jeep for a week. During the summer books were read and an idea of an itinerary came together - followed by telephone calls to hotels. What follows is a diary of our week: Saturday 1 October Alitalia/All Idiots We had decided to make a start on the ... read more

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese November 30th 1999

We are sitting in an internet cafe in Corinth which has large glass windows overlooking the Gulf of Corinth. Today is a public holiday and almost everything in Greece is closed. We managed to get a bus here - the suburban train network was closed today but we are grateful for the excellent public transport system in Greece. The 90 minute trip from Athens cost only 7 Euros each and if the train had been operating it would have been much cheaper. The metro system in Athens puts NSW trains to shame. It is clean, efficient, reliable and very cheap - costing only 80cents to travel basically anywhere on the metro. The train system, however, has been one of the few things I have been impressed with in Athens. It's messy and dirty and chaotic. Richard ... read more
Is it Paul?
The temple of Olympian Zeus
The Goddess Athena

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese November 30th 1999

We are tired tonight after driving all day. Greek television is really really bad and we don't like night clubs or bars, so the internet cafes are good places to hang out. At the risk of boring you, I'd like to recommend a few strategies for coping with driving in Greece tonight, and catch up on some of the amazing sites we have visited at a later date. Driving in major suburban centres: 1. Road rules are more like driving suggestions than rules. 2. At intersections, the person who has the nose of their car in fron has right of way. 3. The above rule does not apply if the person in front hesitates. 4. One way streets are only one way when nobody is travelling in the opposite direction. 5. Parking is allowed. Any direction, ... read more
Street Parking
Position, position, position
A sharp corner and double lines?

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese November 30th 1999

The title of this blog is a quote from Ilias, the guy at the hotel who has been looking after us for the last four days. I haven't seen much of Greece yet, but already I am starting to believe him. Ilias has taken care of everything. He tells us our itinerary for the day, he sorts our banking, he gives his number to the laundromat so that he can explain what we want, he provides maps, he organises the car, provides important logistical and historical information on the places we are visiting and generally has become our best friend in Greece. Today he offered to take us touring to Sparta with his mates on his day off. We declined because it would have meant leaving the hotel by 8am - but the offer was very ... read more
The promenade at Nafplio
Palamidi Fortress
Yeah, you can get through!

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