..... or Archaía Istoría in the Roman script which meaning you can at least have a stab at, but when you’re trying to read a map and all you’ve got to go on is a lot of quite unfamiliar shapes, it’s easy to get lost in the hills – as of course, I did.
The day before, my fellow Magneteer and I had a few hours to spare after setting up our gear at the factory. We asked Pericles, a young Greek chap we had met last time we were in Naples, what was near to hand. Quite a lot as it happened.
The ruins of a temple – in fact several temples, the earliest of which was 9thC BC - dedicated to Hera, sister to, and scandalously to our modern sensibilities, wife of Zeus.
The view from the lighthouse at the very tip of the Perachora peninsula would have been magnificent if the skies had been clear. It was also blowing nearly 30kts so we didn’t get too close to the edges of the cliffs.
With still a little bit more time to spare, we came back around the bay to look for the Corinth Canal. I’d always thought that this was an ancient structure but I’ve since learnt (from the huge inscribed monument at the site) that, although first proposed in the 7thC BC, it was completed after many a false start, in 1893.
My picture doesn’t do justice to the walls that rise 90mts above the water – it’s a long way down.
We’re never alone in our work place. Stray dogs abound and they scavenge for food wherever there’s human activity. The factory workers seem to keep them going with the remains of their lunches. One chap I was speaking to had befriended one of the dogs as a puppy.
As it was my turn for the night shift, the following day I had a couple of hours to spare before going back to the hotel for an afternoon snooze, so I took the turning to Corinth. Corinth has had a bit of a chequered history it having been destroyed by earthquakes and latterly a great fire. Each time, the city was rebuilt in a different place – I was looking for the earliest site on the Isthmus of Corinth with the remains of its Temple to Apollo.
Corinth is approximately halfway between Athens and Sparta. Sparta – there’s a name to conjure with! My education in matters of Greek history, Greek mythology and almost everything else Greek is shamefully lacking so seeing the names of these places on sign-posts had a slightly surreal feel.
And they do like their old cars. There seems to be a scrap yard at every turn. I’ve seen the shell of a Mk X Jaguar lying in a vineyard, a couple of ‘B’ type Opel Kadett’s – one a fast back coupe and, coming out of a café tonight, I tripped over this Peugeot.
Not long before that’s ancient history.