Mycenae & Acrocorinth

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Today was supposed to be cloudy with a chance of rain, so I rented a car to visit Mycenae, the former Military stronghold that has documented history back to the Neolithic era.   The Mycene civilization was wiped out around 1200 BC, but these ruins remain and have been used for centuries since their collapse.  Here are a few more pictures.

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Both of these sites are difficult to comprehend in photographs, the scale of the ruins is astounding (some of the blocks in the walls are the size of a large sedan or small pick-up truck and probably three times heavier).  The views from both sites were amazing, and the fact that there were no large crowds made it even better.

After departing Mycenae, I drove to Nemea to see the temple and theatre at that location (never heard of it before, but it’s just 3km from the road, so why not?).  Unfortunately, the site is not staffed at this time of year, or so the sign said, so I wasn’t able to stop into see these monuments.

As you drive toward Corinth, the Acrocorinth is either hard to see, or so astoundingly obvious that it takes your breath away.   I can’t tell which it is.   You see, the acropolis sits on top of a large hill in the region, and it is somewhat in disrepair as you will see in the photos below.   But it is so high up, that you may not see it if you are chattering away in your car, or thinking about the latest tweets from deranged world leaders.   However, if you notice it, even at a glance any estimation of this acropolis leads to ‘holy crap’.  Here’s what you see if you glance North from the ‘national road’.

Acrocorinth from the highway

I won’t type too much about the site, because I can’t do it justice.   The fortifications span at least a few thousand years, with the latest coming in the 17th century I believe.   Very much in disrepair, the site is massive and has some breathtaking views.

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Not the great wall of china, but it is a big wall.   I don’t know when the Great Wall was built (wikipedia says 221BC), and how that compares chronologically to this wall, however this is quite a defensive structure, particularly given the cliffs it is built upon.

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In the centre of this photo (above) is the port that we were stuck in during the storm before passing through the Corinth canal (which starts on the RHS of the water body pictured).   The storm (and buildings beside the port I guess) meant that we couldn’t even see this acropolis.

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Note the highway in this photo.   It looks like a long way up from the road, but it looks even farther down from up on this wall.

While I only walked about 7km today, the Acrocorinth is very steep and my phone thinks I went up 77 flights of steps during that walk.  I am confident it was actually more, but some of it was sloped so would not register as ‘stairs’ likely.

Afterwards I also drove some roads near Athens trying to map out a route for a ‘long’ bike ride on Tuesday, when I hope to do at least 300km.   Although after my drive today, I may be satisfied in the mid 200’s given the difficulty in finding meaningful ‘through’ routes.   There are some nice roads away from the city, but the connections are a maze and hard to figure out.

 

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