December 10, 1961 – Greece

Grande Bretagne Hotel, Athens, Greece – Cloudy

     Edith and I got up and managed to get our breakfast and be ready to leave with what remained of our tour group at 9:30 am.  After a quiet afternoon yesterday and a good night sleep, I was ready to tour today.

     Athens it turned out was not just a historic city spread at the foot of the Acropolis but a beautifully situated metropolis all the way from the water to the mountains.  I was surprised to find the city was modern enough to even have escalators to its subways.  Everyone looked very prosperous and it was a joy that we weren’t bothered by street vendors for a change.

Athens Greece

     We traveled in comfortable German made motor coaches to Corinth via Daphni to see a monastery that was a famous 11th Century Byzantine Church.  As we toured the edifice I was amazed when I found out all the mosaics exemplified some of the best preserved from that period of time.  I wished I could run my fingers over the tiles but I knew I wouldn’t be allowed but I loved looking at them.

     After leaving the church we drove along the peninsula coast of Saronic Bay where all the islands created a picturesque view off in the distance.  Next we passed through the Corinth Valley and saw where the Greeks grew various kinds of fruit along with raisin grapes.  We went past many ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins but stopped at the Temple of Apollo which I’d always wanted to visit.  Then we also had a chance to look through the Agora museum that had a wealth of pottery, sculptures, bronze and glass objects. 

Cary Tides on Apolo Temple

     And finally we had a chance to visit where Paul was supposed to have preached to the Corinthians.  Standing there I could imagine being amongst the people who heard his teachings.

Corinth Ruins Where Paul Preached

     We had lunch in Nauplia.  A nice little town along the coast that at one time had been a capital of the country.  The restaurant had the best Greek food I’ve ever had so our meal was a real treat. 

Nauplia Tour to Corinth

     Our day had turned out to be a nice day because even though it was cloudy we’d had no rain.  After our meal we passed over the Corinth Canal which connected the Corinth Gulf with the Saronic Sea.  The canal was only three and a half miles long, 70 feet wide and 200 feet deep.  Nero had started to build it in 98 AD but it wasn’t finished until the Greeks did it in 1882.  Under Nero’s rule thousands of slaves died doing the work during construction.  I couldn’t imagine having such a total disregard for life like he must have had.

Canal Started by Nero

Another View of Canal Started by Nero

     We returned to Athens in time for our evening meal and I was glad we were done touring for the day.  Dinner was nice and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  After eating Flo, Curt, Edith and I played cards for what would probably be the last time that we would be able to on this trip.  I knew tomorrow night would be having our farewell celebration so even though I was tired I agreed to play cards for awhile. 

     We were all a little wistful as we played and talked about what we’d seen on our trip.  It wasn’t until after midnight that we finally quit and went to bed.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick S Poplin
    Dec 11, 2010 @ 00:27:31

    A week ago, when I read of Grandma’s account of Damascus, I was moved that she was able to walk in the footsteps of Paul. What I didn’t realize then, is revealed in this account of Corinth today: that she was just as moved to be walking in his footsteps. As a Christian she was a role model to me; steadfast in her beliefs until the very day she died. This strikes me as the most personally felt of her journal entries. It brought home to me the depth of her feeling about standing in the presence of biblical history.


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