Monday, September 2, 2019

ANCIENT CORINTH AND EPIDAUROS: Guest Post by Sara Kras



Ancient Corinth, Greece. Temple of Apollo at Sunset
My friend and fellow children’s book writer Sara Kras recently arrived in Greece to begin a year's study for her Master's Degree. Here she shares some of her first impressions of Greece. Sara loves to travel and has contributed numerous articles to The Intrepid Tourist in the past. Sara's most recent book, Baby Boomer Reboot, is a fascinating account of the challenges she faced going back to college in her fifties. 

Ancient Corinth is a small inland village about three miles from the seaport town of Corinth.  Summer months are the most difficult time to find lodging in Greece, especially by the sea.  Because we had to make a last minute booking, I thought somewhere away from the sea might be available and I was right.  I called Pegasus Rooms in Ancient Corinth.  I was told there were no rooms available for a week, but they had an off-site apartment called Acrocorinth Apartments. 
The owner told us the rate would be 60 euros per night including breakfast.  The apartment was surrounded by the owner’s vineyards and olive tree groves, supposedly a quiet farmer’s cottage.  Unfortunately, immediately to our right lived a very noisy Greek family.  The noise came and went in waves.  We knew we had to stick it out because we had nowhere else to go.  Not everyone felt the same way.  We saw an older couple on the other side of us leave early on a Sunday morning.  This was because the patriarch of the noisy Greek family decided to rev his motorcycle very loud for several hours.  We handled the noise by exploring the surrounding area, which took us to the ancient ruins of Corinth and to the very well-preserved amphitheater in Epidauros. 
Our apartment in Ancient Corinth.
Located on the Isthmus of Corinth, Ancient Corinth had the unique position of being literally the midway point between Athens and Sparta, two warring city-states.  Ancient Corinth was founded in 8th century BC.  However, it reached its peak in the 7th and 6th centuries BC.  The Temple of Apollo dominates the town and still does today. 
Surrounding the ruins at Ancient Corinth is a cute village with restaurants, tourist shops, and traditional food markets.  Our favorite restaurant in Ancient Corinth was Marinos Restaurant.  We ate there every night for a week and the food was consistently delicious.
The ruins are not a large complex.  It takes about an hour or two to see it all.  Once you’ve walked through the entire ruin, you exit by the ancient marble walkway.  There’s a profound reverence this walkway inspires.  How many people walked on this marble walkway since the 8th century BC?  You can just imagine each person carrying their concerns, worries, and joys as they trod upon the walkway leaving a miniscule imprint of their bare feet or soles of their shoes.
There’s also an interesting museum connected with the site, which is a common theme at most ancient ruins in Greece.  This museum featured carvings of the mythological battles of Gods and men against the centaurs and Amazon women.
Temple of Apollo during the day.
Marble walkway of Ancient Corinth.
Carving of soldier fighting an Amazon
(Notice her outfit of a dress with half her chest covered and the rest exposed.  This appeared to be the only outfit the Amazons wore into battle per the many carvings we viewed.)
After seeing the ruins in Ancient Corinth, we decided to take an hour road trip to Epidauros to see the Epidauros Theater, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  This magnificent marble theater was built around 330 to 320 BC.  It seats up to 14,000. Greek plays are still performed there today and a schedule of shows was posted at the site. The acoustics are still very spectacular. Tourists below sang or clapped so those above could hear them.
Just like Ancient Corinth, there was a small museum as part of the ruin complex.
Sara standing in front of the theater
The gorgeous view from one of the top seats!
There are so many ruins and places to see in Greece, it’s hard to choose.  But if you find yourself in Corinth or the Peloponnese, these two sights are worth the visit.

2 comments:

Amy Goldman Koss said...

I never thought about the view -- just the distance from the stage! Thanks for that! Glad you left some footprints, too.

Anonymous said...

The sightseeings are spectacular!
All the Greek history is in front of you, you have so many things to learn about
all you have to do is to find someone to guide you, personally i booked with this and it helped me a lot with my trip https://daytrip4u.com/tour/ancient-corinth-half-day-tour-from-athens/152185