Athens & Peloponnesos
After Thessaloniki, I went to work...for a week haha! And then I went to Athens for another long weekend.
We flew there on saturday the 8th of june and we went back on wednesday the 12th. We went to Athens and then we rented a car to visit the Peloponnesos area as well, as a true geek, this was a must for me!
Day 1: arriving in Athens around 2 pm. After picking up our rental car, we went to the city center. Ofcourse number one on my list was the Akropolis. So this is what we did that day.
We went instantly to the top of the hill, because I was so curious about the parthenon. I always wanted to see it in real life.
Sadly enough, a big part of it was under constructions. But to just be there was already enough for me. It's so crazy!
The view there is stunning. You have a 360 degrees view over the entire city and the sea. On top of the hill, you can see all the apartmens of the city and all the other ancient archeological places to visit.
A small tip: if it's crazy hot (like when we went there), make sure to bring your own water! We were dying from thirst and all the water machines were broken. Typical. So we were pretty much dying from thirst. After that, we wanted to cool ourselves off so we went to the Akropolis museum. The museum has some great artpieces of ancient Athens. On the 2nd floor of the museum, you have this stunning view over the city and on the Akropolis hill.
Then we went to our hotel where we were going to stay for 2 nights. It was in the middle of the road from Athens to Delphi. The place was called: seaside appartments in Aliki. Aliki is a super local, small town at the sea. SInce it wasn't touristic at all, it was great to calm ourselves down, after busy Athens.
Day 2: Waking up in Aliki, with a breakfastview to die for. In front of the town, there are some islands in the sea. In the back of the down, there are some mountains. It's very green and calm out there. We saw so many wild animals. Probably about a billion snakes and turtles.
NOTE: please drive carefully and do not kill these sweethearts!
If you do see a turtle on the road, make sure to help it!
Then we went to Delphi. Delphi is now an archeological place, high up in the mountains, on the mount Parnassus.
Delphi is famous for the ancient sanctuary where Pythia lived, the oracle who made some important decicions throughout the ancient classical times (the one who did some major predictions, stoned...). Research learned me that it was actually possible for her to be stoned... She was high from the plants that grew inside the rocks apparantly.
The top of the pole, where she always sat down next to, on her tripod, is still there. This really made my heart stop!
Even though it was 43 degrees celcius, the view was worth the heat! Close to the cosy town of Delphi is the archeoclogial museum. Higher up in the mountains is the archeological sanctuary. It was a pretty high climb but so worth it. All the tourists only stayed downhills so uphills it was super tranquil and beautiful.
What do you see there? Next to the museum is the sanctuary. There is a full theatre, a lot of ancient buildings and on top of the hill there's the ancient olympic games-place. Can you imagine that 2500 years ago, they already held Olympic athetic games?
The Pythian Games were one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece. The Pythian Games were founded in the 6th century BC and were competitions for art and dance. After this, the went on to more athletic competitions. All to honor Apollo.
After another morning of dying in the hot temperatures, my sister wanted to see some...snow. When she sees snow, we jsut can't stop her haha! And since on top of the mountain is still a lot of snow, we decided to look the ski resort there up. It's called the Parnassos ski resort.
The ski centre is located at two main areas, Kelaria and Fterrolakas (since there are no houses close to the slopes). It has 19 ski runs with a total length of 36 km with the longest being 4 km. The highest altitude of the resort is at 2,250m and the base is at 1,600m. The mountain itself is 2.457 m high. To get to the slopes, we drove about 40 minutes from Delphi.
Day 3: On the next day, we went to Korynthos, so we drove back to the South.
The sanctuary of ancient Corinth was rather small but I loved the museum there. The Greek craftworks are just stunning. Some of those even remained perfectly in tact.
The temple of Apollo is very insta famous... But there's now not much left of it. I also liked the fountains there. At this fountain, was a holy watersource of hot wather where the Greeks held their baths.
On the mainland close to Corinth, there's even a whole thermal spa centre.
After visiting the sanctuary, we went to the hill behind the sanctuary. It's called Akrokorinthos, it's 575 m high and you can drive there by car. On top of the hill are ancient ruins that you can visit for free. The ancient ruins are proof that a lot of visitors have lived there. It's a mix of the ancient Turkish style, the Byzanthine style and even some French crusadors have lived there.
The view you get there over the entire area is gorgeous. And yes, we also saw some snow in the background here as well.
After this we went to the canal of Corinth. This is actually a very impressive place.
This canal was first used in 1893. It's pretty genious because it cnnects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. Boats didn't have to go all the way around the penisula anymore. It now separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland. And now Peloponnesos is actually an island... It is 6.4 kilometres long and only 21.4 metres wide. With a bit of sun, the water turns turqouise blue!
After this, we went to the beach there, to cool ourselves off and then off to our second hotel in Loutraki.
Day 4: Mycenae and Epidavros.
Mycenae is located a bit more Southern than Corinth. The city was founded in the Bronze ages. Mycenae was a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. At its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares. Pretty large!
SO when you walk through the small streets of the ruins, you walk on streets that have been there for about 3400 years. Is this inspiring or what?
After Mycenae, we drove to Epidavros. In Epidaurus, there's the largest (still in tact) theatre of Acient Greece. When you enter the stage, you're instantly blown away. When you just talk normally, people all the way up can still hear you. Yes, we tested it out for ya!
It is SO amazing and large. 1400 People used to come here in ancient times. Can you imagine trying to manage 14K people at an event, without walkie talkies, phones, electricity,...?
Close to the theatre, there's also a sanctuary. Here you can find an old "hospital", an old guesthouse where pilgrims used to go to and also an olympic stadium. Tourists often only go to the theatre, but the entire place is stunning to see! Just follow the arrows.
After that, we went to the beach of the town of Epidaurus. This was the most relaxing afternoon of the trip. The beach was calm, the sea cristal clear and the water super hot! In the town, there's also a much less known theatre to visit. It's a lot smaller, but knowing that it's next to the sea, it's super lovely there!
DAY 5: Our last day. On Our last day, we went to the Vouliagmeni Lake. We didn't like the lake that much, but when you drive to the end of the lake, there's a small sign to another sanctuary. Nerd as I am, I was intrigued and wanted to go find out what it was.
I was blown away by the seaview there. You can see right through the canal from 50 km's away, which was kinda crazy. And the deel blue sea view was jsut another stunning bonus.
After that, we went back to Athens, to visit the other places we didn't visit before.
The lovely agora of Athens. I'll let the shots speak for themselves!
And this was the end of my trip. Next up: Warshaw next week! Life is good!