Sunday, 17 November 2013

Greece - Rio-Antirrio bridge and Rion fortress (Peloponnese)

Patra(s) is a port city (more large town) on the northwestern edge of the Peloponnese and is after Piraeus (Athens) the busiest port in Greece. Looking for a free camperstop we came across a parking site with a wonderful view on the Rio-Antirrio bridge spanning the Gulf of Corinth.
The parking site was used by clientele of a nearby taverna / restaurant / night club as well as local fishermen. It was well lit and had good Wi-Fi connectivity. But that view of the bridge .... !

Early evening every night

On select nights only!


Watching the changing and various 'moods' of the bridge was a photographer's delight, I must have taken 25+ pictures over our 3 day stay at this site. It is a work of art and you can literally sit and watch it with all the other goings on (boats, ships, people) and not get bored any time soon.

Fifi the motorhome near the Rio-Antirrio bridge

We walked one morning from our camperstop to the ferry harbour which was about one mile away and came across the remains, now a museum, of the Rion Fortress built in 1499 by the Ottomans' Sultan Bayezid ll. The Ottoman (Turkish) Empire was in ascendancy and dominated large parts of eastern Europe during its reign.

Ferry port (Patra side)
Ferry port (Nafpaktos side)

The Rion Fortress

Information plaque at the Rion Fortress

What we have found revealing is the extent, influence and power of the Ottoman Turkish Empire during its reign of some 500 years in this part of the world. This was no 'come and go' short lived Empire, this was as significant as the Roman or British Empires in their time, with power and ability to dominate regional affairs.

Surrounded by a moat on the landward side

The old and the new
Wedding decorations
 Walking around the embankments and inner restored area we came across this church preparing for a wedding celebration. We were cordially invited to feel free to take photographs of the couple as they emerged from the church after the ceremony ....
Upon leaving we stopped at the gate to admire this Citroen 2CV, when out came the owner from the gatehouse to pose for me - Ari Onassis style! Always fancied owning one of those cars!

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