Nafplio (Ναύπλιο) was my jumping point to two other important archeological sites in Peloponnese.
Mycenae (Μυκηνες) was the center of a civilization that thrived between the 16th and 12th century BC. This is where Heinrich Schliemann started an excavation in 1874 that is still ongoing today. Without wheels and other tools we take for granted today, I still wonder how they could have built something as grand as the Lion Gate without the mythical cyclops.
While waiting for bus, I noticed omnipresent stray cats are fed by tour bus drivers.
There are a lot of cats and dogs wondering all over Greece. They seem to lead a better life than their human benefactors. Oh, yeah. Don’t miss the 15:00 bus or you may be paying over €25 to go back to Nafplio instead of €3,20.
I visited Epidavros/Epidaurus on my 3rd and last day in Nafplio because I got to Mycenae too late on the second day to return in time for the 14:00 bus to visit this archaeological site. Make sure you look for θεατρο Ασκληπιειου (Επιδαυρος) and not other towns that include Επιδαυρος in their name.
The architecture is also very functional. The theater has been used in recent years for live performances. It has incredible acoustic quality. You can hear someone test squeezing plastic bottle from anywhere, including the top row of the amphitheater. https://youtu.be/aH-0Ldot0lw
Listen to this group of Swiss school children sing a Greek song they learned in a language program. https://youtu.be/sY4LLSlt3S0
This performance was done only after a prolonged solo or duet performances by just about every one in the group for their teachers. In the mean time, some people had to make do off stage to release their theatrical urges.
The museum next door displayed artifacts from the nearby archaeological site, including that of the Asclepieion, temple for antiquity’s physician god. Apparently the sanctuary for healing’s popularity was what brought in the funds to build the theater.
The published bus schedule said that the bus would drop off riders at a cafe about 1 mile from the theater from October to May. However, there was a small van waiting to shuttle us to the theater’s entrance. The last bus of the day at 1810 also picked us up from the entrance to the theater. There was a nervous wait, for the bus was almost 20 minutes late, but it came nevertheless. There was a convoluted system of 3 buses meeting at the cafe to exchange riders to different directions. It all worked out at the end. I even made it in time to pick up a σουβλάκι and my backpack from the hotel before 20:00 bus departure for Athens.
Back to the index page for my travel in Greece series.