Tuesday, June 09, 2015

MENU's Aegean Odyssey. Day 15: Diakofto, Corinth and Mycenae

Day 15 of the Odyssey started with some Tchaikovsky as Terry got in some last minute practice before we left for Corinth and then Mycenae
The ruins at Corinth
The museum is full of beautifully preserved and very impressive statues
A piece of mosaic floor
They have been restored, very sympathetically
Classic decorated Greek pots
Glass and pottery so well preserved
Dionysos, god of wine, capped with grapes and vine leaves
Ancient armour on a figure
Functional jugs
A vessel for storing wine or oil
A statue of Irodis, said to be one of the builders, and, according to our reading of the inscription, a lover of wine. The third word looks like “peripatetic”, so perhaps he didn’t stay very long. But he obviously made his mark
A sculpture of a lion eating grapes
A sarcophagus in the courtyard
A richly decorated frieze
Taking a rest from the heat in the corridor of marble – one of the statues was still painted in natural colours
A shepherd with his lamb. Could this be an early Christian reference? Perhaps; it is labelled “Hermes the lamb-bearer”. It is from the Roman period and came from the Forum
Asklepios, the god of healing
The contents of a sarcophagus; a man buried with his pots and oil
The temple
Remains of the old town; excavation is still ongoing
We came upon this prayer group from the USA. This is said to be the site at which Paul spoke to the Corinthians, so it has a lot of meaning to Christian groups
Early Corinthian columns
The walled city on top of the hill
Blood red poppies
Tiny harebells
The ants were enormous and Terry, who got bitten, says it was extremely painful
It is possible to imagine how the city must have looked when you see such good excavations
An orb, cracked. Presumably this was for storage of some liquid and it is beautifully carved
More superb carvings
It was time for some lunch. Across the street, this Taxi was parked with its sign on the roof at the back of the car. There must be a logical reason, but we couldn't think of one; many of them are like this. Perhaps the Greeks believe it is best to tell you it was a taxi, after it has passed
A cool beer and a cheese and ham toastie with some crisps
Do I look good in this? Of course you do, but perhaps it's too expensive? (Gun fight at the Corinth corral)
A final view of Corinth
We were to return to visit the city on the hill on our last day, only to find it closed
Greece is covered with Oleander bushes in many different colours
We arrived at our hotel, La Petit Planete, in Mycenae. It is the last hotel on the road up to the ruins
Our peaceful room, with its balcony and silent air conditioning
The bathroom. The sign above the loo is an instruction not to flush the toilet paper (“Do not drop paper in toilet seat”), but to put it into the bin. We saw this everywhere in Greece. Difficult to obey!
A panoramic view from our balcony
We unpacked and then went up the hill to see Mycenae. We started at the The Treasury of Atreus or Tomb of Agamemnon. It is an impressive "tholos" tomb on the Panagitsa Hill at Mycenae, constructed during the Bronze Age, around 1250 BC. The lintel stone above the doorway weighs 120 tons, with approximate dimensions 8.3 x 5.2 x 1.2m, the largest in the world. This huge beehive tomb is rumoured to contain vast treasure. Nothing has yet been found. The building is incredible
The entrance has echoes of Egyptian tombs
Lynne used her torch on the walls and spotted some interesting minerals in the agglomerate rock
The entrance with its lintel stone
You walk further up the road and you come to the ruins; a lot of excavation is still taking place
Ancient stone walls, built without mortar and the rocks fit closely together
The famous lion gate
in more detail. The heads have been obliterated; by man or by the weather?
This site feels so ancient and they are still discovering things about it
How to build a wall
We do not know what this lined pit was used for, as there was no information
Agamemnon sleeping. If you look carefully at the mountain in front, you may be able to see him
Figs ripening on the tree
Blue hills of late afternoon. A sort of Trompe de l’oeil, certainly an optical illusion. The hill in front almost looks as though there is a “see-through” effect with the hill behind
The haze over the olive and citrus groves in the distance
The view over the precipice
Sage grey green olive trees
Across the valley we can see this castle on the top of a hill. Could it be a Crusaders’ castle? No, it is the ancient citadel at Corinth
Time for supper. Spinach, cheese and egg tart with a creamy sauce
Crisp on top, with lovely flavours of cheese and some dill
Crisp garlic toast, with olive and oil, sprinkled with fresh oregano
A refreshing orange salad
Steak and chips, with some stewed aubergine and peppers
And if that was not enough, a custard tart topped with baklava, pastry, cinnamon and honey
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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