Wednesday, 17 May
After breakfast Dolora and I took a short bus ride to mysterious Mycenae, the fortified city founded by Perseus a thousand years before the Parthenon was built, 3,000 years old. Our tour guide was Patti. The first stop was the Treasury of Atreus, a.k.a. Tomb of Agamemnon, from the 13th century BC. This is a huge beehive structure built into the hill, 47 feet across with a 42 foot dome. the lintel at the entrance weighs 120 tons. The ancient engineering is astounding. It is believed to have been a tomb but it was plundered so there is nothing to indicate what it was used for.
The museum contained some ancient pottery and replicas of gold items found at the site. It is interesting that over 3,000 years ago they still took the time to decorate things that were used every day. People were buried with items they needed while alive. Then it was up to the Lion’s Gate entrance to the fortress. Two lions, missing their heads, are above the gate. Inside is a grave circle containing a cluster of graves. Dolora and I climbed to the top of the acropolis for some amazing views. Then it was back down to the bus and the return trip to Nafplio,
We made a quick run to our room and dropped off some stuff before heading back into the old town. Our first stop was a place called Vanilla & Pepper for goat milk ice cream. They start with goat milk add honey, vanilla and your choice of add-ins to make the ice cream in front of you. It is rolled into tubes for serving. We had chocolate with coconut and caramel. It was good,
There are a million junior high school kids in town. Since it is getting near the end of the school year, they are all on field trips. Dolora and I found a place for a pizza. There was one other couple there and about fifty kids. The pizza was tasty. From there we walked the sea front admiring a couple of yachts and then wandered the streets visiting many of the little shops. While i finished another gelato, we met Joan and Paul and headed back to the hotel as it started to thunder in the distance.
We only had a little rain but some pretty good wind whipping up some whitecaps, Dolora and I headed to the top patio for a coffee and some more lemonade. Several other members of the group had the same idea.
At seven our group met to head to a taverna, Misirlou, for some Greek music and dinner. Dinner consisted of eight courses plus dessert. There was fried bread, bread with feta, tomato and balsamic vinegar, eggplant, fava beans, fried rolls with pastrami and cheese inside, cheese pie, mixed vegetables, and a sort of pork stew. Finally a dessert with semolina. olive oil and sugar. We had the choice of a taxi or walking back. I think everyone tried to walk off some of the meal.
All during the meal we were entertained with Rebetiko music. This is music of the Greek urban and working class from the early 19th century. The music was originally played by Greeks who had been expelled from Turkey and was banned for a while. It seemed a little like the blues. Most of the songs were love songs.
Our bus driver’s name is Panagiotis [panaˈʝotis]. This is a fairly common name in Greece. Earlier one of the guides told us that 15% of Greek men were named George. There are a mix of names that are familiar to us and those that seem unusual.
Tomorrow we are off to our first Greek island, Hydra.