It was all a Dream, I used to read Word-Up Magazine

Anticipation was building on the long drive to Nafpoli. Though Lauren and I tried to kill time rapping to every Kanye and Biggie song that came on the iPod, we couldn’t wait to reach our destination. Yes, we heard about the castles, the ancient ruins, and even the shopping, but nothing could compare to the most exciting part of our excursion…Our last time swimming in the sea!

Before we arrive in Nafpoli, we stopped at the Corinth Canal. It connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea, and it separates the Peloponnesian Peninsula from mainland Greece. Ioanna, our Greek professor, told us that bungee jumping would be available for our entertainment, and I was ready. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time, and I wasn’t able to go. Although I was bummed, I was able to buy a traditional Greek hat. Yeah, it was wild. I wore it all day, even though Ioanna said that it was ugly and embarrassing. Haha

Epidaurus was the next place we hit on our weekend adventure. It was known in ancient times as a healing center. People from around the region would come to have their dreams read and their remedies assigned. The most celebrated point of interest at the site is the theater. It can seat over 15,000 people. Ioanna did a demonstration showing how great the acoustics were. When different coins were dropped at center of the theater, we could hear the difference in sound all the way from the very top of the theater. I was given the opportunity to sing in front of the entire audience. Ioanna also sang for us. It was a beautiful folk song from her village near Sparta.

We arrived at Hotel Victoria in the evening. It was a very nice Seaside Inn near many tavernas, shops, and clubs! It was the perfect location. After dinner at a wonderful little tavern (that just barely seated us all) we went to Ioanna’s favorite bar in town—The Wrong Bar. But I guess we hit it lucky and were there at the Right Time on the Right Night, because we all had a blast. We talked and laughed while Ry played guitar and sang for the bar. Even after living together for two months, every day I learn something new about these people. I was oblivious of Ry’s talent, and I was taken aback by how his talent really brought us all together as a group that night.
The next day we went to Mycenae. It was home to the legendary King Agamemnon and the site of the one of the largest findings of gold, second only to the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamen. We walked through the legendary Lion’s Gate and the Tomb of Clytemnestra. Though it was an amazing civilization that left us with great ruins to view and learn from, our new found interest in the paranormal definitely added to it. Lauren, Leanne, Caitie, Dom, and I decided to find ghosts in this ancient city. We made videos and took pictures of the supernatural activity we witnessed (Look at the ghost behind the rock in the photo!). It was fun and fascinating!

When we reached the hotel we were able to have some free time. Lauren, Shane, and I decided to go swimming! Unfortunately we forgot our goggles, but we made the best of it! It was about a 20 minute walk alongside the rocky coast. On the left were Prickly Pears. Shane thought it would be a good idea to pick and eat them. So he climbed up, picked some, and tossed them down to me. I guess we forgot they are called PRICKLY pears, and we got hundreds of prickly fibers stuck in our hands. I hate Prickly Pears! Swimming was fun, but cold! But what did we expect? It is November! It was refreshing though.

My favorite part of the entire trip was on Sunday when we went to the Palamidi Castle that sits high above the city of Nafpoli. Ioanna gave us the option of taking the bus to the fortress or taking the 1,147 stairs to the top. To my surprise, and most likely to the surprise of the others, I chose to take the stairs with Professor Marra, Shane, Kayla, Leslie, and Ron. I am sooo glad I did! Though it was one of the most difficult hikes I have ever been on, it had one of the most scenic views I have seen the entire time I have been to Greece, and it was a great feeling standing at the top and looking down at the hike I accomplished. To my surprise we all made it to the top in about 15-20 minutes, actually beating the bus!

Finally at the Top!

Shane and I decided to break off from the group and do a bit of our own exploring. Several times we decided to take the paths less traveled. We went digging through ancient tunnels and caves. We came across one that is worth noting. We walked through a small hole that opened up into a large room. We walked down the stair case and saw the domed roof. In the center of the room was a large pile of rocks and dirt that had fallen through when a small part of the roof collapsed. A couple feet of standing water filled the grotto-like structure. It was by far the coolest site at the fortress.

This trip was great! One day I hope to come back again.

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