Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Tues 12 Jul 2016. Athens to Corinth Canal to Epidauros

Tues 12 Jul 2016. Athens to Corinth Canal to Epidauros
Uneventful ferry crossing, disembarked early on another clear morning and (with trepidation) drove the quiet streets of Athens into DHL. 

Wonder of wonders, the window pane had arrived, and was released once the ransom was paid. They had no information about the laptop though, no guarantee it has even cleared customs – the saga continues. Drove down to the DHL warehouse and depot on the wharf, and argued our business with the security guard, who finally got us clearance to go through the gates to the office. GirlRob joined the lines at the counter, everyone in front shouting and gesticulating, banging fists on the counter. Looks like we aren’t the only disgruntled customers (and no wonder the staff stay behind bars). After an hour of arguing, producing documents, being told to come back tomorrow (no way!) pacing endlessly (and noisily!) and going back to the counter in-between other customers, finally GirlRob convinced someone to go off to find our parcel – and miraculously, they did!! Paid another small fortune (despite its obvious bulk, battered condition, and age, customs would not accept it was a second-hand machine). It was 12.45pm before we once again cleared the security gates. We put on the first CD of the audio story The Time Travellers Wife to distract from the morning’s frustrations, and gratefully left Athens behind.

Equanimity restored, we came upon the Corinth Canal, which connects the Gulf of Corinth to the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea.  The Canal had a chequered history getting off the ground. It was mooted in classical times to enhance trade routes and provide strategic defence, but a curse appeared to affect all rulers supporting the option – both Julius Caesar and Caligula were assassinated, and whilst Nero’s workforce (incl 6000 Jewish prisoners of war) started trenches from both sides, the project was abandoned shortly after he too died.  Reinitiated in the late 1800s the project continued to be plagued by financial (incl bankruptcy) and operational difficulties (incl high winds funnelling down the length, clashing tidal currents, and unstable limestone walls causing landslides). Usable today, cutting through the narrow Isthmus, the Canal has turned the peninsula into an island - but given it is just over 6km in length, and only just over 21metres wide at its base, it is impassable for modern ships, and is used largely by tourist ships (only 11,000pa), and of course, for bungee jumping!

Turned south towards our destination for the day, Epidaurus, passing colourful fish farms. 

So pleased to meet up with fellow Aussie travellers Guy and Cheryl at Nicholas I camping. Had a swim in the warm salty waters, dodging the sea urchins. Yarned over sundowners, swapping travel tips and plans. 

"Pasticcio or moussaka depending on morning mood"!!

With pretty light suffusing the sky, both couples dined at nearby restaurant, GirlRob enjoying her chicken a la creme with mushrooms and raisins. Lulled to sleep by waves crashing against the sea wall. 

No comments:

Post a Comment