My mum found her Great-Grandmas travel diaries a while ago and I have been typing them up for her to read and thought I would put them on here as well- If you want a little bit more background read part one here 🙂
This name means Cypress tree, as there are so many of these in and around the town. Kyparissia was destroyed by the Turks and again by the Germans in the east war. A ruined Frankist castle dominates the hill behind the town. There are 4000 inhabitants who tend to the olive groves. The olive oil produced is far farmed.
This town contains the Palace of Nestor, the talkative king of Pylos, the ruins of the palace are on an eminence looking out to sea, across vineyards and olive groves, although ruined, many of its interesting parts are still visible; it is roofed over to protect it from the elements; it is quite large 100 yards wide and 200 yards long. Nearby were found the remains of 2 beehive towers, which although they had been pewtered, still contained pottery. The wall bases of the palace have been excavated, also many rooms and quarters. The Archives room had nearly 1000 clay tablets written in an early form of Greek, and consisted of inventories, pages from account books, lists of artisans and military dispenseries, taxes paid and one tablet refers to “watches on the cliffs”. These tablets were baked hard by the fire which destroyed much of the palace. The Waiting room had a stone seat round the walls, for taxpayers to sit and wait, while they were served wine; the Pantry still holds heaps of glasses, vitrified in the great fire; in all there were 3000 cups and 6000 vases. The throne room had the kings throne facing a large circular hearth, decorated with frescoes, traces of which still remain. The bathroom contains a delightfully curved bath, the inside of which is covered with painted frescoes, in this the person sat or stood, while water from a nearby amphora was poured over the body. The Oil magazines still hold the amphora in which oil was stored, but they are broken. The workshops were next to the kings room, where the armour and weapons were made; golden ornaments were also manufactured. The palace itself was 2 storied; 2 stairways lead to the upper part; walls and floors were decorated with frescoes and in the construction of the palace, wooden beams were used in conjunction with stone, so when the fire raged; the wood burned and left holes in the stone which still remains to show where the wooden beams were originally. The Sentry posts for the palace guard are gone, but holes in the ground show where they stood of old. Outside the palace are ruins of outdoor buildings, as only 10 weeks in the year having bad weather, the rest of the year can be spent in the open.
Outside Patras are huge fields of tomatoes, bought for their tomato ketchup. The town has 100,000 inhabitants, employed in the great Pinelli industry, or in the commiseries for fruit juice and puree, all of which is for export. Its Turkish delight is famous and the jasmine blooms all the year round. An earthquake caused the land to sink at this point and the ionian sea covered it to further the gulf for Corinth; now a ferry goes from Patras to Itea, across the gulf, calling at aegina. There are 2 churches of St Andrew in the port, old and new; the new church has a large cupola and is very ornate; it is built behind the old church, which is on the site of the martyrdom of St Andrew. Round Partas grow special pines, which produce nuts, good for eating and excellent for pastry making, when ground. Oranges and lemons are cultivated all round and are exported in large quantities. Aegina, the port opposite Patras, across the gulf of Corinth, exports currants and tomatoes mainly, but also has large paper mills producing most of the paper needed in Greece. The ferry from Patras to Aegina goes on to Itea, famous for its very large, juicy olives which are so good they are all exported, leaving more for the local folk, Itea also exports oxide, for alummia, which in turn produces aluminium.
Let me know in the comments if you have ever been to either of these places and or if you have been to Greece what your favourite place was you visited 🙂