The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crete and the Greek Isles

Hi from beautiful Santorini

I left my campground at Sparta (they say Sparti here) and went off without my Kindle Fire that I use for reading books, and that I have my guide to Greece on. Sparta is too far for me to go back after it, so I guess it will make someone a nice paperweight.  I have it password protected, so I don't think anyone can use it. That's too bad, actually, because if I can't use it I would like whoever finds it to be able to use it. Oh well-----

When I left Sparta, I wanted to go to Olympus where they used to hold the games back in the Olden Times, and where they light the Olympic torch that they carry to the Olympic Stadium of modern host countries. It should have taken me about three hours to get to Olympus, but my GPS took me up through some narrow mountain lanes and through some tiny Greek towns.  I was kind of angry about that because it could have routed me on a perfectly good highway, but by the time I got it all figured out it was too late to turn back.

There isn't much left of Olympus today, but back in its heyday it must have been quite the place.

You can still walk around and kind of get an idea of what it looked like back about the time of Christ. Back then, people came from all over to watch the games, and cities tried to outdo each other with the monuments they gave Olympus.

This is one of the Temples in the city. Doesn't look like much, does it?

This is what it looked like back then.

Besides temples, there were gymnasiums, practice arenas, swimming pools, hotels and much more. Here is a picture of the main arena. It could hold 45,000 people on those grassy slopes. Everyone from my county in Illinois could have fit it it with room for plenty more.

The whole place was dedicated to the god Zeus. He had a big temple there, and the Giant Statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was in it:


That statue was carted off to Istanbul a long time ago. But there are plenty of other statues at Olympus to give you an idea of how special the place was back in those days.

Lets go, Odysseyus. Times a-wastin'.  Gotta go catch a ferry to Crete.

I have a long way to go to get to the ferry, but I don't have to be there until 11:30 tonight. I have time to visit the famous city of Monemvasa. It is on an island, and the only way to get there is by crossing a causeway. It reminds me of the more famous Mount. St. Michael on the coast of France.

Sorry Odysseus, but you can't go in.

It is a warren of narrow lanes, stores and hotels inside.

That was Saturday. The ferry got me to Crete early Sunday morning. I only have a few days in Cfrete, and then I have to be in Athens to meet Jessica and Renaud. I think I will save the places I want to see in Crete for later and take a ferry up to nearby Santorini instead.

Santorini is probably the most famous of the Greek Isles. It is certainly pretty.

It might be even more beautiful at night.

Tomorrow I am going to swim at the volcano out in the bay. They say the water is warm there.

So, more to come later.