Friday, 8 November 2013

Greece - Athens to Patras along the northern Peloponnese.

The road from Athens to Korinthos, the eastern entrance to the Peloponnese, goes through mainly industrial areas with a part of the Pireaus bay area quite visible from the road, with many vessels at anchor. It may not be scenic, but any bay with ships has a beauty of its own.


The Corinth Canal

This is something I had to see, imagine the year 67AD (almost 2,000 years ago) when Emperor Nero started the project and then fast forward to 1893 when it was officially opened, with many stops and starts in between -

- 6.4km long
- 24m wide
- 90m deep

To top it all, it carries mainly tourist vessels and not much commercial traffic, due to ships being too large these days. However, the mind boggles at the mere thought of how all that earth had to be excavated and moved with only rudimentary tools at the time.

Looking west

Looking east

We decided to go anti-clockwise around the Peloponnese region and so started along the northern coast towards Patras. It was decided many moons ago that we would try to free camp for most of our stay in Greece. This is allowed in Greece, whereby you can use your motorhome for what it was meant to be, a fully contained home independent of the trappings and cost of a campsite. If we liked a place we would stay a few days, if not we would only stay the night. Some places are nicer than others, simple as that. It can be a car park, a yacht marina, a beach.
Overnight stay at Xylokastro

The stay at Diakofto, next to the beach and a paved area, tavern and good Wi-Fi connection, was for four nights.

Diakofto camperstop

With a Dutch 'motorhomer' discussing places to visit
View from Fifi the motorhome
Upon recommendation we took the rack and pinion style railway to Kalyvrita which is some 22km into the mountains, but takes one hour by the 25km/h train. The line was built by Italians in the late 1800's for taking minerals to the sea and is these days used mainly by tourists. The scenery is stunning as you cross bridges with sheer drops on the side, tunnels of stone and rugged mountain landscapes.
Front seats we had

Kalyvrita is scenic and caters for snow skiers during winter, cafes, tavernas and hotels are plentiful with good shopping opportunities. Ask Joan, she bought a 10 Euro tiny jar of honey. I bought some homestyle cookies and bread freshly made which was eaten quietly on the train back. Once again low season means the train was uncrowded and we changed seats depending on where the best view was.

Next up Patra(s).

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