Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Peloponnese: Wednesday

Don't get up for a run: my excuse is my ankle, which felt a bit iffy, and also I was clearly tired yesterday afternoon; perhaps I'd have had the will to visit the Acrocorinth but for that. M does get up early - around six, because she isn't feeling sleepy, and goes out for a walk on the front. I get up at 7:30 and do the other thing I've wanted to, which is to go for a swim in the Gulf of Patras. Not that I get very far from shore. It shelves quickly; dive down to the bottom and retrieve two pebbles to take home. The wind has moderated somewhat, but the waves get bigger than my head not very far out. B'fast at 8, about as yesterday and good. Miranda goes for one last swim, and then its pack-n-off. First stop is the Corinth canal - the deep cut bridge - to show the children who are I think moderately impressed even if they don't say so. Then, slightly on a whim and because we pass by it, stop at Ancient Corinth. Ever so slightly embarrassingly I'm now struggling to remember anything about it. Not a number one site, indeed. The temple of Apollo is the most obvious, and quite impressive. The Roman fountain / bath, which I think they should have filled with water. Perhaps my pix will jog my memory when I come to fill this out.

And then onto the road, via a confusion of directions, towards Patras. Not quite the motorway we'd hoped, because its constantly interrupted by roadworks as they expand the width. Also the Greek way of using the road is entertaining: you're expected to drive in, or move over onto, the thing that in England would be the hard shoulder, if its necessary for people to overtake you, or people on the other side. So all in all it takes about 1.5 hours to get to Rio, just before Patras, where we stop for a cafe and gaze at the bridge across the gulf, which is really very big but somehow not terribly impressive from where we are. And anyway, we're busy playing cards.

After more exciting adventures in which-way-to-join-the-motorway, caused in part by the remodelling, we zoom along towards Pyrgos and then to Olympia our destination. The countryside around that stretch of road is, I would say, flatter and less interesting. As we come towards Olympia the hills begin again; ours is the Europa hotel, picked by M as a Best Western. Its above the modern town, and all very nice in a suitable-for-American-tourists kind of way, ie characterless. But we're only here for one night and it has a decent pool.


M and I visit Ancient Olympia from 6 to nearly-8. There's not all that much there of the gasp-in-awe variety; a temple of Apollo (another one!) and some mighty columns from the temple of Zeus; and the running track for the history of it.


Meal in the evening in the "garden" (as the rooftop resto turns out to be closed): salmon au limon for D, which he pronounces excellent; Greek salad for me (I haven't had one this holiday, only bits of other peoples); Mozzie salad for E; and risotto for M. And more cards of course: what I have come to call the Peloponnesian war.

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