Peloponnese

Before you ask, Peloponnese is that peninsula of Greece that sticks down into the Mediterranean.  Which I was kind of excited to hear about as I’d always wondered where it was.Africa 2 007

This is the lovely town of Monemvasia, which is a lovely old mideval fortified town and where the cruise stopped for a morning (I confess by this point I had no idea what the names of any of these places were so I needed to look it up just now).  They sure picked a lovely spot!  The entire place is surrounded by city walls and has old stone arches that you pray “please Poseidon, no earthquakes now ok?” when you pass under as it looks doubtful they’d survive any shaking.Africa 2 008

The other neat thing about this place is how the roads are so narrow that cars and trucks can’t come in.  What does this mean?  Well if you want to build within the city you need to use horses and mules to bring the stones and cement in.  I’d never seen such a thing happen anywhere in Europe, and it was certainly entertaining to see.Africa 2 009

My other favorite place in the Peloponnese- Agamemnon’s palace!  Ever read The Illiad or The Odyssey? (I’m betting you did one or the other for lit class at some point.) Agamemnon was the king of the Myceneans, ie main guy in charge when the Greeks invaded Troy, and his palace still exists.  In fact, this is the famous lion’s gate where his wife’s lover killed him after he came back from ten years in Troy.  If you think this wasn’t very nice of her don’t bother to sympathize, as he had killed his daughter in order to get a good wind to sail to Troy.  What a nice lot those ancient Greeks were…

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The view from Agamemnon’s palace- they sure picked a lovely spot didn’t they?  There isn’t much left of the palace, just some stone foundations, so the Lion’s Gate is the most impressive spot.  They do have a great museum though.

And with that, my story of Greece is done, as the next day we were back in the Athens airport waiting for a plane.  But not to worry as the story is about to get really interesting- time for the continent switch to Africa!

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