We heard that although it didn't have a particularly nice harbour, Navplio is a very pretty town. And this turned out to be the case, the harbour is full of large turtles (but very shy so no photos), but otherwise stinky. The town on the other hand, surrounded in no less than 6 castles is gorgeous.
It's nearly 900 step up to the top castle so we opted for the more modest climb to the middle castle and did a fly by of the castle out to sea. The other three will have to wait for another day...
From the top we get a view of Hector below and the other castles.
Feeling pretty happy with the decision not to tackle the 900 steps. A couple of hundred was more than enough in 34 deg!
Finally caught up with the super yachts - haven't seen a bay packed with this many large boats since Corfu.. but then it is a lovely spot... and after a while they all clear out and leave it to us.
After a rough night in Leraka (Yeraka ?) we left our anchorage in a resonably large swell, with a long day ahead heading up to the Island of Spetses we were a little discouraged... but not for long!
Our view coming into Monemvasia - certainly looks pretty good from here.
We heard pretty good things about Monemvassia so of course we had to check it out. And yes it truly is an amazing spot. We were lucky to have fantastic settled weather so could anchor off the island. We decided to celebrate getting to the Aegean Sea with a breakfast out. This turned out to be a fantastic idea as we were able to wonder the streets of Monemvasia in the early morning light with no one else around. We had a taste of how busy it gets when we left breakfast to find the place overrun with load people following colour coded sticks around the narrow streets. This is definitely ON the tourist trail.
`So breakfast, well yes it was epic ... waffles will never be the same again!
Yithion is another town with a biggish port which would seem a little if it wan't for the visiting yachts and the confiscated boats sadly going to ruin.
Business idea number 254, buy up these abandoned boats super cheap, do them up and sell them on.
There were some bigger ones too, which possibly had a few stories to tell.
Anyway this is a interesting town a bit off the tourist trail - even has octopus testicles drying in the sun. We decided to have dinner and had an authentic Greek beer and a complimentary dessert ...ok so we passed on the sundried optopus!
The south coast of the Peloponnese has 3 fingers the most eastern one is called the Mani peninsula. It is unlike anywhere else in Greece, there are strict building codes and the building material of choice is stone. The small villages dotted over the hills are fortified, even the houses are built to avoid invasion. Everyone seems to have a mini castle/fort, so much so, Camille came up with a new word - Casouse - by joining together castle & house.
Kalamata didn't really come thru with the olives, but Sparta did. On a chilly 24 deg day we visited the Olive Museum in Sparta, and loved it, together with the historical setting of Sparta.. Camille felt inspired to write a poem and take a video.
An Ode to Olives
Old, ancient, beautiful and delicious,
history in every bite and step.
Olive, olive, olive, castle, fortress, queen,
the difference matters not.
Each has history of its own.
It's time to make history
high up high in the sky
all around underneath you see the houses and trees.
Today we got up at around 6am, it wasn't even light yet. We caught the bus and headed to the town of Sparta, then we took a taxi to the archaeological site of Mystras. It is a byzantine town from the Middle ages, but the last person moved out in the 1950s. It was pretty well preserved, especially the paintings on the ceilings. It was all built on the side or top of a mountain. The castle was my favourite even though the walk up was long, the view was great!
We hopped into a little boat, it wobbled, there were only 8 people onboard including the driver. He had a paddle to push off the cave walls. We had to duck because the roof was so low, we couldn't turn around to get our photo taken because we could have wacked our head!
We went fast and there were some tight corners, the driver was very clever.
There were lots of stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites hang from the ceiling and stalagmites grow up from the ground. A way to remember which is which is, stalagmites has a ground for ground in it and stalactites has a c for ceiling in it.
When the light shone on them they looked like chandeliers!
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.