Epidaurus was a place of healing. People came from all over Greece to this site for medical and spiritual healing. Plays were performed, there were hotels and restaurants, and there was even a place at the far end of the grounds for dream therapy. There is a story of a woman who came to Mycenae for troubles with conceiving a child. The barren woman went to dream therapy, and reportedly had a dream that Asklepios, the god of health, came to her, lifted her tunic, and touched her belly. Months later, she gave birth to a son (by her husband).
After Epidaurus, Giorgios drove us to Mycenae, the ruins of the first capitol of Greece. After 999 steps at the castle, I have made it my business to scale any hill necessary in our travels, and this was the first since then. The view from the top was really spectacular, and of course I needed a photo as proof I climbed again.
Before we headed back to Athens, Ioanna wanted to show us the Corinth Canal.
As soon as I laid eyes on this sight, I burst into tears. Before I left for Greece, I found a photograph my Papou took when he and my Grandma were here a few years ago, stuffed in their old guide book. My Papou has always had an incredible memory but something's gone wrong and his memory is fading. The photograph was identical to the one above, and he had no idea where it was. I stood on the bridge, unable to speak, and let the reality of everything sink in. I knew I had to document this place, so that when I return home I can tell him myself where he had been.
Thursday night we made the long journey back to Athens and Friday morning we gathered at the Hellenic American University for a Lightroom class. I just recently took a Lightroom class back at home, so I spent the time adding to what I call my "Holy Grail" photography notebook. I'd printed some of Herbert List's photos (see first post) before I left for Greece, so I pasted them in and looked up biographical information. When class was finished we paraded down to the cafe for lunch, then had the rest of the day to ourselves.
Saturday morning, the 14th, the group visited the National Archaeological Museum. Ioanna walked us through and gave us the highlights, then we had open time to continue walking around and photographing. I always get antsy in museums after about two hours, so once I got to my breaking point, I left and headed back to the hotel.
That evening, five of us adventured out for dinner on our own, instead of having another expensive meal with the whole group. We ended up on the main drag downtown, and soon found out that we'd stumbled into the rally and subsequent parade for Athen's Pride! All of us had left our cameras in the hotel and were immediately kicking ourselves for doing so. I had my iPhone and took several photos and videos; my favorite was the first float with people dancing to Cher's Believe.
Sunday morning, we piled into another bus and made another long journey to the the little ski town of Arachova. When we were almost there, there was a pull-off on the mountain road that over-looked the sleepy town and valley below and the view was breathtaking. There was a man sitting in a little red car who apparently lived on the side of the hill. His name was George and he took to me immediately, speaking to me in Greek, though I didn't understand, and eventually wrote down his name on a strip of paper for me, followed by his phone number.
It's off-season right now so the town was very quiet. We checked into the hotel then rode the bus back into town and had about an hour and a half to walk around photographing. There were some interesting sites, and another set of stairs to climb (only 264 this time). Later, we boarded the bus again and made the quick trip to Delphi, and the Temple of Apollo. Ioanna brought us through the museum first and told us about all the facts and myths surrounding the temple, then we ventured out to see it for ourselves. We eventually got rained out and had to make our way back to the bus.
Since we got rained out that afternoon, we decided to head back in that direction Monday morning, and check out the Temple of Athena across the way. For some reason, not much is known about this particular temple, aside from which god it was built for. My mentor, Gary Samson, obliged to take my photo in front of the ruins.
From Delphi we headed to a monastery for several hours of relaxation. I only took a few photos; instead I concentrated my efforts on writing (and a nap) during my time there. The long dress in the photo above was required for entrance into the monastery's sacred buildings.
After the group had rested and reflected, we piled into the bus once more and took the long ride back to Athens. More adventures to come!