1013-1018: Snow in Antibes and Sun in Sounio

1013 – Tuesday 13th March 2015:  Coast to Lake

We reluctantly left Monemvasia; a really lovely place.  As we’d stayed 3 instead of 1 nights, we had no time to continue exploring this peninsular.  James has a flight on Thursday to Nice to visit one of his daughters and family and we have to stop in Corinth to pick up Corrie’s Pet Passport.  The young lad at Athens Adria had told us about a lake not too far from Corinth, so we headed there.  

It was a stunning drive up through hills to Lake Doksa.  The lake itself was pretty enough but two factors meant we won’t go back.  The whole place was infested with processionally caterpillar pods.  I took the dogs for a lead walk around the lake, only to be followed by some old codger in a battered old car.  He followed at distance, but kept flashing his lights at me.  Thankfully, that was all he flashed.  Fortunately I had a phone signal, so James walked fast to meet me.   It was super quiet at night.

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Sunrise from our Monemvasia Parking…

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We had climbed and climbed and then through a pass, cut out in the rocks and then the view opened up to the valley below.

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Our parking on Lake Doksa.  45 minutes to walk around, slightly faster if you get a wiggle on, as being followed!

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Back up nearly level with the snow.  The heating came on for the first time in quite a while.

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From tugging at Oscar’s stick, Corrie is now chasing him for it …

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… He’s getting a lot more exercise!

1014 – Wednesday 14th March:  Leaving the Peloponnese

We had another pretty mountain drive down and then through Nemea … worth coming back to as we spotted signs for wine routes and lots of wineries that we could visit for sampling and purchases.  Into Corinth for the Vet … Pet Passport and microchip registered for no additional charge … a gift, with a smile and a very firm long farewell hand shake.  Rather than come back to this vet for the rabies blood tests, which will take about a month to come back from the Government laboratory, we will try to get this done in Crete.

We headed onto Athens, as we wanted to be near the airport.  I was driving and discovered that the Colin Co-Pilot had taken us through the centre of Athens!  I had to wake J to help with the navigation, as I was too busy spotting cars, pedestrians and buzzing motorbikes.  I don’t suppose many motorhomes have been through the equivalent of Parliament Square in London … but actually it was fine. 

We stopped at a lovely beach front in Ag Marina.  Pretty sure I’ll come back here.

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Lake Stimfalia on our route towards Athens.

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Ag Marina.  Beach restaurant for a glass whilst we watched a flotilla of tinies (boats and kids).


1015 – Thursday 15th March:  J to Antibes and K to Porto Rafti

Leisurely start and then I dropped J at the airport.  I then went onto Porto Rafti, which we’ve visited before.  

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I took a walk along the coast and found a lovely small beach.

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How’s that for a bonnie baby?

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My evening view.


1016 – Friday 16th March:  South to Sounio

My plan for my solo weekend is to explore the peninsular SE of Athens. The Temple of Poseidon in Sounio being at the point.  En route I planned to Lavrio, which had been a major mining town, including silver, and a port.  However, the museum I had wanted to visit was shut and although driving through the town, it looked quite smart, I didn’t fancy a coffee.  Being ‘towed’ by two dogs through the town did not appeal, so I continued south to the Temple.

This was the first time we’ve left dogs home alone.  I came back after a speedy 35min tour of the Temple and no sign of the dogs.  Usually Oscar is on the dashboard. I crept up and peered through the window.  Both were sat facing each other as if in conversation!  No damage 🙂

I drove down to a parking by a couple of restaurants.  The one I intended using had coach party of late teens deposited inside … change of plan … into the other one. Having checked with the lovely waitress that I was OK to stay overnight, I ordered wine and a Shrimp Saganki … absolutely delicious and I was not charged for the water or the coffee.  And I sat right by the water’s edge looking up to the Temple.  Perfectly romantic, except for one thing … James was not with me.

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Temple of Poseidon.  Right at the edge of a cliff.  Little else remains of the fortifications and habitation, but it is very striking.

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These ground birds were making a complete racket … no idea what though.

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My overnight with the Temple looking benignly on.  My super lunch was in the restaurant on the water’s edge.

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All lit up at night time…. taken with my phone.

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Afternoon walk along the coast.  Nothing like as spectacular as the Peloponnese coast.

1017 – Saturday 16th March:  Sun and Snow

I had intended to stay somewhere along the coast … but it really is not appealing.  The road quickly became dual carriageway with pedestrian underpasses from hotel complexes to the private beaches.  Very built up and it must be hideous in high season. So I kept going and ended up back at Ag Marina. I’ll stay put for 2 nights.  

I had lunch in the beach restaurant … second Shrimp Saganki in 2 days!  Not as good as yesterdays.  I also managed to do some hand washing … not something I would normally do, but there is no where to replenish my water supplies and the twin tub uses too much.  

James meanwhile was earning lots of grand-dad brownie points.  The family had driven up into the hills in search of snow.  Sarah said he had to be persuaded to get in the car to leave.

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What a big kid!  

 


987-992: Kalamata Based House Number 2

987 – Thursday 15th February 2018:  House Move

After 8 lovely days in Dimitros’ family home, we moved on to our second AirbNB – a total of 4 hours travelling (including comfort stops) in convoy, we drove through heavy mist, rain and sleet!  We had planned to visit Mystras on the way, but with the weather we aborted.  So a longish lunch it was near the marina in Kalamata … what else is one supposed to do in the rain?  
 
Our Southampton based AirBnB hostess had messaged that her father was in Athens hospital, who normally does the check in so, Lily, a family friend would meet us in Kalamata.   The designated spot was outside the bus station … no where for Jez to park there, so we had to tell Lily where to find us.  
Met Lily with her limited English and our non existent Greek.  She told K she would drive very slowly for us to follow.  And she did …  she guided us (me in Jez and K in Kitty) very slowly through Kalamata environs; so slowly that our 3 vehicle convoy was beeped – several times!  And thence via a narrow roads to our house.
 
Then the fun began…….  Our hosts (Lily and an uncle who has chickens on the property) wanted me to drive Jez into the driveway – narrow – no way at all!!!  But we were assured they were experience in getting vehicles in the tight turn.  K assured them that we were expert at knowing when our expensive motorhome would not fit!  Nothing daunted, our host hopped into the van and in fluent Greek and NVC said “there’s loads of other parking places”!  Off we went via narrower ‘boreens’ (Irish for little lanes) brushing past olive trees, muddy puddles – to a z bend with a steep ramp….. I paled and shook my head – but the neighbouring gent guided me down very slowly to a nice clear parking with room to manoeuvre. Sighs of relief all round and back to our new ‘kooky’ house – with huge deck and outside seating areas. Next – pre-prandial drinkies……. we had partaken of luncheon in Kalamata so no evening repast…… BBC TV news (a Bonus) and zzzzzzs quite early…..

988 – Friday 16th February:  Mystras 

A late start – we ran for quite short runs – great to be out though…….  departed at 11:00 for Mystras with me driving.  SatNav said 1 hour – actually 2 hours via mountain Z bends, gorges, rock tunnels, snow and stunning views…
Picnic in the car – Spanish Omelette using the fresh eggs we were given by the uncle.
The Mystras Byzantine site is amazing.  A whole town – we walked a lot and visited the monasteries (one still in use with 6 nuns and very fine frescoes) – Oscar stayed in the car in the shade.  We thought this would be one of Greece’s special places and it was.  Great photos too…
Rally driver K raced us back along the same mountain roads in just over 1 hour!!!  A Bulgarian Ford Transit in front wandered all over the road until we got past eventually…  Lidl shop and chill down evening – do we have any other kind?  No.
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Up over the hills to Mystras … snow ploughs had pushed the snow to the roadsides, thankfully.
 
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An even slower drive had we been in a motorhome!
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989 – Saturday 17th February:  The Mani – Stoupa and Ag Nikolaos

Katherine drive out to Stoupa and I back (K slept off a litre of wine (why not?). K:  I did share a little!   Stoupa we had missed on last drive down the Mani.  Stoupa as fellow motorhomer Dave is thinking, it may be an ‘investigate further place’ for a possible purchase … so it seemed worth looking at.  Bay with sand and lovely coffee spot.
Then onto Ag Nikolaos, which we had been to before (wild camped in the car park) … lunch in restaurant recommended by guide book … fish – nice enough but over priced for what we had and not the quality we had had in the fish restaurant near Napflio.
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Stoupa:  one of the best sandy beaches.
 
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 Crowing / Barking from the roof tops.
 
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Stoupa – a stunning bay.
 
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Despite holding the ladder that was rocking precariously and saving the restaurant staff member from certain death, we still felt lunch was over priced.
990 – Sunday 18th February:  Petalidi
We wanted an easy day … coffee (although some people had beer!) down the other coast … could just see the hills of the Mani with snow.
Back at house to use the washing machine, soup for lunch and Grumps found a black and white Western to watch in English with Greek subtitles.

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991 – Monday 19th February:  Kalamata Lunch
Wet wet wet!  We’d wanted to visit a supermarket, but they were shut … despite checking online and not seeing anything, it was clearly a Bank Holiday with kids off school.  We looked at Kalamata church.  Nothing remarkable.  The advertised (brown tourist signs) old town lacks any charm.  Many of the old town restaurants were shut … back to the front by Marina, where we’ve already eaten twice.  James and Mum watched a Greek Dancing display … Mum then ‘fessed up.  For some unknown reason, her girls’ school made the inmates do Greek dancing, robed in short dresses made from yellow parachute material and matching died yellow bigus knickers.  Lunch in same restaurant; the waiter recognised us from a few days ago and found us a table as everywhere was reserved.
Another b&w western back at the house.  And another evening of card games … won’t say who won!
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Outside Kalamata Cathedral … bust of previous Bishops, but there are gaps in years … were the missing Bishops not revered?  What had they done?
992 – Tuesday 20th February:  Final Day
 
Packed up and cleaned the house.  Jez had been residing unmoving at a neighbour’s house … down a semi dirt, semi tarmac track.  It had rained all day yesterday and over night.  We were mildly concerned that we would fail to get Jez back up.  With Traction Control ON, James gunned and slithered Jez up the slope, having also scattered gravel everywhere outside the house!
We used the motorway to Athens, as the sat nav wanted 9+ hours if we did not use them, instead of 3.5!  Rafina is a small port town, just west of  the airport so handy for a final lunch.  The waiter gave us a gift of garlic, chickpea and semolina sauce; tasty on J’s meatballs and chips with no sauce.  He also confirmed how they cook the beans with spinach that Mum and I had become rather partial to.
Airport drop off and then we overnighted in Porto Rafti, which we’d investigated when we’d had the hire car.
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Beach front parking at Porto Rafti.
 
Oscar’s Diary
 
Still in Grease folks – I think – but it’s all GrekoPaloma to me…  new doggy food – which my kind owners didn’t check out properly… it doesn’t fit in my daily planet eatery – the biscuits are too big. K: a plastic toy Oscar has to work with his snout to get biscuits to fall out of.  Never mind eh – that’s wot Katherine says (a lot).  Now then, I’ve discovered a new toy – it’s small and furry and squeaks a lot – very odd – but nicer than chickens (I was in awful bother when I inadvertently sort of deceased one some time ago).  Deceased chickens turn up for lunch but this one didn’t….  Anyway this new furry toy is called a cat, I believe – jolly little things – see photos below.  I have gotten as far as a quick sniff up the old ‘youknowwhat’ – more to come, eh? Some say they can scratch and cause K9 nose bleeds – me? I don’t believe it – I can hold my own with any furrier or catterie. Diane and Grahame came to stay – odd – Grahame runs away from me – but he’s getting braver – now he stays in the same room at least…bet I could do him in a carpet playfight… Diane gives me treats – I pretend to be a roof – sorry, aloof – hoping she’ll find more food… They’re ok really – the Raged Ts.  K says they are always on holiday – like us I suppose….  We’re off to Greete soon – a place for people called Greetians.  I wonder if that’s where they make Gretian 2000?  But I don’t use hair dye – K does – and J pretends not to – yeah, right….. (Lumme, I sound like a teenager).  Anyway, after that we will travel to Sandemonia and Gulfairia (K: Macedonia and Bulgaria!  Really Oscar!)  where I will meet Daisy and Pepper (doggy friends) – and San with Boxershorts – lovely people whom we came across in Elea wild camping spot – their uncle Bulgaria comes from Wimbledon (I wonder if he plays tennis?).
All for now – must go – Grahame needs some more training – happy to oblige, old son…..
Jaysus – oops, Jassus (Greek, you know).

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965-975: Athens Antics

965 – Wednesday 24th January:  A Long Drive

First longish drive for ages…….should recharge the leisure batteries – given the lack of constant sunshine…..From Glythio to Marathonas beach wilding – €39 in m’way tolls but it was a good idea to shorten the journey. 
 
A lovely remote overnight parking on the beach near closed restaurants that may open at weekends……  About 2km of sand and sea.
 
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  Snow en route and snow ploughs were out along the m’way through the centre of the Peloponnese.   

967 – Thursday 25th January:  Marathonas

Into Marathonas town and – we passed the Marathon museum!  I had to visit (K and O stayed in Jez). Huge empathy from my 4 marathons (long time ago – last in 1988).  The photo is Dorado Pietri (Italian) finishing the 1908  London Olympic Marathon. He fell several times within sight of the finishing line and was helped across by stewards – promptly disqualified!  For his bravery, Queen Alexandra presented him with a special cup – he’s now world famous as the runner who did not properly complete the course!  
 
We headed to Nea Kifisia campsite NE of Athens – better for me to stay while K is in Blighty to see Maddy…only 2 days.  Not much to do except walk Oscar, visit the local mini market – and read……and chill.
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Dorando Pietri.
 

968 – Friday 26th January:  K Brighton Bound

I drove K to the Athens airport in the afternoon – and navigated back to campsite successfully – with my co pilot Oscar!
 
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Being 2 hours ahead, I landed at 10.15 p.m. UK time, but it was midnight for my body clock.   We went to Maddy’s flat in Brighton via a super supermarket … I bought mostly herbs and spices that I can’t easily find over here.  And Saturday’s supper request was that I cook a roast chicken!  By the time we chatted and had a glass … my body was in free fall.
 
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Met at Gatwick 🙂  A wonderful welcome by my Munchkin.
 
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Got to pick up my birthday and Christmas pressie … love ‘em.

969 – Saturday 27th January:  Brighton Day

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Maddy drove me along the coast to her workplace.  Steel comes in by boat, off loaded by use of magnets.  Into the sheds for drilling and cutting and out on the left onto trucks.
 
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We went on the Pier … the Shove TwoPenny is sooooo additive.  Had a giggle on the House of Horrors.  This is Maddy’s new date!

We had lunch in Brighton and then shopped till we dropped … trousers for Maddy, new waterproof for me and deodorant for J (he has a special one!).  Chicken back at Maddy’s and movie night.  Hagen Daas and chocolate, of course!
 

970 – Sunday 28th January:  Breakfast and Back to Greece

Up in time to dive into the centre for breakfast.  Banana milk shake was followed by pancakes for someone. I had a green smoothie … aren’t I sanctimonious!  I’d bought M a super cheap slow cooker (all of £10 with a 2 year warranty … how do they do that!?, so we headed to the supermarket to fill Maddy’s fridge with food for the week and for the slow cooker.  We were cutting it just OK for my flight, but then hit a motorway closure … oops… I arrived at the airport with only an hour to spare.  Not only was I scanned, but my ruck sack was pulled for inspection.  I had electric cables and plugs for the motorhome, as well as all those food items.  I’m trying to keep cool and not tell the chap hurry up, as he pulled out cornflower and icing sugar … fortunately for me, he was off on his break in 3 mins so he did not even use his drug/explosive dust swab.  A fast walk through the airport and I made the gate, just with time to buy a bottle of water and a coffee.
 
At Athens airport I picked up a hire car, which we had booked as we had anticipated our Friend Alison coming to see us tomorrow.  Sadly she has had to postpone her trip to us as she is awaiting a heart procedure.  
 
Being with Maddy was very emotional … whilst we talk and text a lot, it is not the same as a good hug and hanging out with her.  I will see her next in May.
 
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971- Monday 29th January:  Checking Out Sleep Spots 

Laundry day – well part of… we drove our hire car (an Astra diesel and nice to drive) to Porto Rafina to check out wild parking spots – met some lovely Transcendental Meditation ladies from Athens and USA.  Nice seaside lunch and then to Porto Rafti for more wildspeccing – including for K when I go to Nice to see my daughter in March and for moi whilst K is in UK in May – well travelled us?  a lot of flights booked!  Then – to Glifda and Pireas for researching our proposed trip to Crete!  Did we mention this?  A few people, especially on a forum that K is is on, have raved about it, various motorhome bloggers have said it is the best place to motorhome … and K bought the guide book whilst in Brighton … looks like we’re going then! 
 
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Mezze lunch in Rafina.
 

972- Tuesday 30th January:  Athens Walking Tour

Car driving in central Athens is – “interesting”…… nobody bothers about lanes or speed restrictions – and the motorbikes/scooters come from all sides!!!  But, as we have driven our previous motorhome in central Palermo in the rush hour – Athens by car is a doddle… We even managed to find free on road parking each day we drove in.  As we’d given ourselves lots of time I ingested an omelette special in a restaurant next to where we parked the car.  The owner gave us his business card so we could find our way back … kind.  Actually K spicks a Save on our location in maps.me so we can route our way back, but it would have been ungracious to explain that.  
 
Our guided walking tour – with Michael (Masters degree in Classics) was a lovely 2 hours – with excellent local information and anecdotes.  If any local politician or leader took too much power – he was ‘ostracised’ – hence the origin of the word. Only the true born Athenians (6,000) could vote – the other 40,000 were lesser citizens!  If that applied in UK, not many people would have the franchise!  When we later met Carol and Mike their tour was over 3 hours and so much more informative … ho hum.  
 
The photos below tell the story… 
 
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Tower of the Winds in the Roman Forum 2BC.  Combined weather vane and water clock.  The external friezes depict the 8 winds.

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Byzantine Church 1000AD

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The area where the Greek nobility attended to vote.  6000 men were entitled to vote and at one point were enticed with silver to attend.  Votes were taken on every and any issue daily.

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Herodes Theatre AD161, restored in 1955 and used for concerts.

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We couldn’t eat it all … Tzatziki, Moussaka, baked Feta with peppers, salad and wine … set price EUR25 for two.  And the sun shone.


973- Wednesday 31st January:  Acropolis

Our motorhome convoy moved to a wild S of Athens.  Soupful lunch in Jez – and off to Athens again – I walked around the Acropolis Museum and then the actual site itself.  Very impressive – but we have been truly spoiled by the Greco-Roman remains in Sicily and Italy…   Then – a K-phone app guided walking tour to see more local sites.
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Views from Areopagus, where youths hang out with a beer at night.  
 
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There is the Acropolis, a couple of other hills and a massive urban sprawl … thankfully very few high rises.
 
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Acropolis Museum:  Alexander the Great.

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James came out of the museum and caught me red handed … oreo and milk chocolate flavour.  Yummy.  Note the new Maddy boots.

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View up to the Acropolis.  Only the Temple of Athena Nike 426bc has been restored fully so far.
 
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Propylaia – the enormous entrance.

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The Parthenon was covered in scaffolding and plastic sheets when I visited it 30+ years ago … got to see a bit more this time.  They have only just replaced the crane inside that had been in service all this time.

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J mastering a selfie 🙂

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Hadrian’s Arch AD131 – positioned to deliberately mark the boundary between the ancient Greek city and the new Athens of Hadrian.  Two inscriptions read “This is the ancient city of Theseus” and on the other side, “This is the city of Hadrian, not of Theseus”, just in case Athenians were not sure!

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The Temple of Olympian Zeus. Was the largest in Greece.  It started in 6BC, but not completed for 650 years .. a bit like the slow Acropolis rebuilding programme!

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Panathaenic (Olympic) Stadium in the site of the original stadium  330BC.  It was reconstructed for  gladiatorial contests in Hadrian’s time, then in AD144.  In 1896 it had a major reconstruction in time for the first modern Olympic Games.  It seats 60,000.  In 2004 it was used for Archery and the end of the Marathon.

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The Royal Palace was completed in 1842, destroyed by fire in 1909 and used as the Parliament building since 1935 … very plain compared to the English Houses of Parliament, about to undergo it’s own £40b (+) renovation.  I tried to stand next to the elite guard for my pic … he stamped his gun on the ground and an ordinary army officer came and told me to move off the step.  Carol was told on her walking tour that they only stamp their guns if they are threatened … was he concerned about me or Oscar?  The tomb of the unknown soldier is behind me.

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And without me.
 
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Byron being crowned by Greece.  Carol and Mike were told Byron was having his hair combed!
 
 
 974- Thursday 1st January:  Agora and Meeting Up

 
Athens Camping was our next stop – to hook up again with Carol and Mike (we met them at Ionian Camping at Christmas). Athens centre again – so far we’ve managed free on street parking – lucky…  K walked around the Agora – and then later we walked through the old town – narrow market streets and very touristy.  We had a date with Mike and Carol for an early supper – walked it off back to our Astra and back up the A8 to the campsite.  
 
 
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Walk through the park and stumbled on Socrates Prison.  The holes in the wall were where wooden building were attached to the rock.  During WW2, the caves were cemented up concealing museum artefacts.

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The Agora … the Greek Forum equivalent, where all the business took place.  This is the Stoa … shops now a timeline museum.

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Pan … just amazing quality.

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A Kleroteria – an allotment machine to see who was to be called for jury duty.  People inserted their bronze name tags into the slots, into the top were poured black or white balls.  By means of a crank handle the balls were released selecting an entire row for jury service.
 
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Ostracism – intende to protect the city from aspirants to despotic power.  Voters scribbled ‘candidates’ names on pottery shards and these were then counted.  The ‘winner’ was then ostracised from the city for 10 years.

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Ancient Athens Weights and Measures.  Financial transactions were supervised by the Agora (Greek Council).  These are official vessels for dry goods.

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Lead tokens for issuing pieces of armour.  The images are representations for helmets, breastplate, shields etc.  Middle 3BC.

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These vessels have a hole in the top to measure the water and one at the bottom … when the water has emptied, the orator has to stop speaking.  I think some teachers could have done with this!

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View from the Temple Hephaisteion of the Stoa and the Acropolis.

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Temple Hephaisteion 449BC and the best preserved in all Greece … it’s roof is still intact, but you can’t go in.

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The security at the Temple took this … nice chap.
 
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Tourist tat in lots of the old streets.

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Late lunch/early supper with Carol and Mike.
 
 

975- Friday 2nd February:  Acropolis 2, Benaki Museum and Central Market 

We had planned to high tail out of Athens, but felt we ought to give it another shot.  Oscar is an impediment.  Being 21kgs, he is too heavy to go in a bag (not that he would entertain this), so the Metro is out.  Our only option for visiting the metropolis is to drive in.  Given the traffic and erratic parking, a motorhome is a no go.  So it sort of made sense to do another day whilst we had the car.  There is free camper parking S of the Acropolis, but we worry about being a newish van in a city … we were broken into in Copenhagen.  So … another day it was.
 
Drove in with C and M – they wandered through the Acropolis – Oscar and I sat and braved the wild dogs.  Note: most of the wild dogs in Greece have been quite friendly … these were NOT.  One attacked our boy.  Bastard.  The nice man in the cafe came out to call the dogs off.  Almost forgave him his prices … €7.00 for a coffee and Twix – extortionate but – tourist prices – I wonder how much it would be in high summer?  
 
Separately, we went into the Benaki Museum – we’re close to being ‘museumed’ out…..and ‘cityfied’ out…   Choice over Archaeological Museum as would take 3-5 hours each and we’ve had enough of being in a city.  Central Market for meat and veg … stagger back to car with a good load in our back pack and shopping bag.  
 
Earlier back to the campsite than planned as early start next day … our Bristol based Adria dealer has sadly gone bust (we really liked the people that ran it and worked there, so we are very sad for them), so we booked the only Greek Adria dealer to look at front seat at 10.00 tomorrow.  It ‘complains’ and grinds when we swivel it.  Not sure if it is a warranty issue or not, but since UK Adria dealers will not take on warranty work for another dealer … we may have to pay and labour rates are cheaper here.
 
K made more haute cuisine soup and prepped a beef stew for the next day.
 
Evening drinkies at chez M and C – and early abed…..
 
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Theatre of Herodes.

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From the Acropolis you can see the Olympic Stadium, Hardian’s Arch and Temple of Olympian Zeus.

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And now inside the Benaki Museum … a private collection.
 
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Marble Cycladic female figures 2300-2200BC.  Inspired later artist such as Van Gogh.

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Bronze folding mirror showing Aphrodite and Eros.  280BC.  Perhaps a bit heavy for a handbag, but amazingly constructed.

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Lord Byron’s portable desk, pistols and portrait.

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The table where King Othon signed the Greek Constitution in 1844.  The actual manuscript and Othon’s pen.

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Part of the university.  Strangely a statue of Gladstone in front.  Wonder if some wag of a student was posing a maths sum?
 
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The Central Market … great food and great prices … I had to buy some meat from this chap since he’d obligingly posed.  We just had to lug it 1.8km back to the car!