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 🙂
Here is a famous healing resort, equivalent to Lourdes, it is the Sanctuary of Asclepius, god of healing, it is in ruins and ringed round by a grove of trees; these ruins are fragmentary and down to foundation level, but here in 4 B.C. stood temples, altars, hospitals, baths, sanatoria and gymnasia; there was also a games stadium, a beautiful fountain, a supposed library and a great statue of Asclepius, in ivory and gold, flanked by a dog and holding a snake, the latter was much used in therapy at that time, probably as shock treatment. There are accounts of many miracles having been performed here. The Greek theatre is the best preserved arena in Europe; there are 55 rows of crescent seats, out into ascending aisles that look from above, like the nibs of a gigantic fern. For 2000 years the theatre was buried and was not excavated till the end of the last century. The acoustics are fantastic. In the centre of the base was the circular orchestra or dancing area where the chorus performed; the stage was at the back of this but only a few stones of it remains. In the centre of the circle was a sacrificial stone where offerings were made to Dionysius before the festival began. The front stalls are of red limestone , and are seats of honour; they are lower than the others, which suggests they were cushioned. The theatre held 14,000 spectators; nowadays, summer festivals of Greek drama are held. The beautiful mountains form the backdrop of the stage.
A favourite seaside resort of the Greek people, Nafplio is on a wide blue bay in which lives The Isle of Boudigo, a favourite expensive holiday resort in olden times, criminals were taken here to be executed, to avoid the executions being carried out in the town. As many of the towns walls are natural, the stone lions of St Mark are on there, but the town is above all, Greek. Dominating Nafplio is the Castle Palamidi on the rocky heights of Palamidi. From the sea, the mount rises 400 ft, lone and straight the fortress is Venetian Turkish. A staggering stairway ascends the mount, roofed over in a series of steepy, slanted, tunnels part of the way, then zigzags to the summit, there are 999 steps and a further 280ft climb to view the acropolis. The acropolis is large, with many walls and doors still standing; looking down from the top, it is obvious that many of the buildings at the foot of the mountain were part of the ancient acropolis. In one of the small rooms of the castle there are oxi mounted on the wall, showing it was the headquarters of the Greek resistance movement in the last war. There is a very delightful chapen with candles and holy pictures of the mount quite small but beautifully cared for.
Let me know in the comments if you have ever been to Greece or either of these places 🙂