Yesterday we took a brief break from Athens and traveled to the archaeological site of Mycenae and the coastal town of Nafplio.
The citadel of Mycenae is legendary for the amazingly high walls of its structure. Passing through the Lion Gate of the site, one cannot help but think how in the world anyone managed to construct something so enormous so many thousands of years ago. It is really no wonder the ancient Greeks believed that it was the work of the mythological cyclops.
Farther along down the path is one of the iconic beehive tombs in which the Mycenae were known to bury their monarchs. These formidable structures are buried into hillsides and once housed lavish decorations. Looking up within the structure provides an awe-inspiring peek into the genius of the early Mycenae people and the importance they placed on funeral rites.
We next arrived in Nafplio, a small coastal town situated on a peninsula that juts into the Argolic Gulf. Nafplio is most famous for the Palmidi Castle, a fortress built into the nearby mountain that was once the stronghold for the Venetians during the early 18th century. It remains in excellent condition and offers an extraordinary view of the bluest and most inviting water you could ever imagine. With the blistering heat of the Greek sun on our backs, we wasted no time descending the mountain and diving into the cooling waves of the Aegean.
After some fun and games in the water, we split up into small groups and did a little more exploring of the many nooks and crannies Nafplio had to offer. We marveled at the picturesque street corners that somehow managed to sprout up at every turn. I hate to succumb to cliché, but ‘romantic’ would probably be the most apt word to describe the town. After rendezvousing for a quick bite to eat, we sadly said goodbye as we boarded the bus and made the trek back to our home base in Athens.