Nafplio to Mycenae & Epidaurus, Greece

Aug 31, 2017 - Sea Cloud


Due to continuing strong winds, the final full day of our Greek Islands voyage took us out of the Cyclades and into the Peloponnese. We anchored off the charming town of Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece from 1829 until 1834. While some chose to explore this Venetian-influenced seaside town on their own, most chose to join Eleni and Kriton for a guided tour of some of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. We began in Mycenae, namesake of the Late Bronze Age civilization that thrived in the Aegean. The characteristic feature of a Mycenaean citadel is substantial defensive walls, a feature seemingly lacking on Minoan Crete. The entry gate through Mycenae’s massive walls is termed the Lion Gate after its triangular stone relief of two lions (or lionesses?) flanking a wooden column. After visiting the citadel, we saw the so-called Treasury of Atreus, actually a tholos (or beehive) tomb that is yet another impressive architectural accomplishment. We then continued on our journey, past hills dotted with modern windmills and ancient olive groves, to the Hellenistic-era site of Epidaurus. Here we tested the acoustics at the best-preserved ancient theater in Greece, while distant thunder hinted at the afternoon rain to come. Kriton and Eleni described the religious function of theater in the ancient Greek-speaking world, an especially important role at this site famed for its healing abilities. As we traveled back to the port from Epidaurus, the rain arrived, and it continued through much of our final afternoon aboard. The storms disrupted our sailing plan, but provided an appropriate backdrop for a viewing of the classic film, Around Cape Horn, a narrated documentary about sailing aboard a tall ship in the 1920s. 

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About the Author

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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