Honors Grecian and Turkish Odyssey - Day 4 - Corinth, Epidaurus, Mycenae

Corinth Canal

Epidaurus amphitheater
In the morning we traveled the "Sacred Road" on our way to Corinth as we began our driving tour of Greece.  Our first stop was the Corinth Canal.  En route as we passed the Saronic Gulf, Cristiana informed us that this was the location of the Battle of Salamis in 480BC, a battle that some scholars consider the turning point in the Greco-Persian Wars and one of the 10 most important sea battles in history.  We arrived at the Corinth Canal and had the opportunity to stretch our legs as we admired the 270-foot high canal connecting the Aegean and Ionian Seas and built in 1893, though the first attempt to build it was made in the 1st century AD.  Avoiding the temptation to bungee jump off the bridge over the canal, we loaded back into the van and crossed the bridge instead, entering the Peloponnesian Peninsula as we traveled to Epidaurus, site of an amphitheater designed in the 4th century BC and renowned for its acoustics, as unamplified speeches made from the "acoustic circle" can easily be heard from any of the 15000 seats.  As we sat in the seats of the amphitheater, Cristiana pointed out how the curvature of the seats helped create the exceptional acoustics.  We then scattered throughout the amphitheater as Jennifer Dodd made her way to the "acoustic circle" and sang the Ashland University alma mater for the enjoyment of us and the other tourists.  Returning to the van, we traveled to Mycenae which was first settled in 2000BC.  Our first stop in Mycenae was the Treasury of Atreus, also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon, constructed around 1250BC.  After a brief encounter with some Stanford alumni toting cameras, we entered the beehive tomb that likely held the remains of a sovereign.  Cristiana pointed out the optical illusion that the tomb's height appears to be much greater than its diameter, although they are approximately the same.  Less than a mile away from the Treasury of Atreus was the Mycenaean acropolis, our next stop on the tour.  Before this trip, I had not realized that there were multiple acropolises in Greece and that the one in Athens was just the most well-known example of an acropolis.  After entering through the Lion's Gate, we encountered the Grave Circle dating back to the 16th century BC.  As we continued to explore the ruins of palace on the acropolis, we had wonderful views of the surrounding terrain including the Agamemnon Mountain.  We concluded the day by traveling to Olympia, where we met a Grecian Olympic torch bearer who tried to sell us jewelry, before having dinner and spending the night in Hotel Antonios.  

Lion's Gate on Mycenaean Acropolis
Treasury of Atreus


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