We crossed the huge cable bridge that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland as Tom told us about the many naval battles that had been fought in the waters around us throughout history. It was hard to reconcile the sparkling views with where Cervantes, author of Don Quixotes, lost an arm. Athenians and Spartans alike died in its water. In the distance was the town where Lord Byron died of sepsis fighting for Greek independence.
Maybe that was one of the things that I needed to come to Greece to really understand. How vital a role the land itself has always played in the varied history of the country.
Such is the case at the sanctuary of Olympia and home of the ancient games.
There wasn’t going to be anymore running after the heat-stroke of Olympia so excess energy from the long bus rides got worked out in a water fight.
After a beautiful driver through the mountains we reached Sparta, or as the modern city is known, Sparti. Sparta is much poorer than Athens and the lack of remains of the city of Sparta means that it doesn’t have any like the same amount of tourism. This means to some people the city seemed quite run-down and unattractive, even “dodgy” but I found it pretty appealing in its own gritty way.
The next morning we got up at half six in the morning to watch the sun rise over the mountains.We were tired and grumpy but the light display made it very worth it.
Then we walked up to the Spartan acropolis where there was still a beautiful theatre preserved.
Wow, what a connection to the past the running track is – the entrance tunnel and everything. If those stones could talk…
I know right!