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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