This post is part of the so called “Greek Series”, consisting of photographies shot while backpacking Greece in September 2013. You’ll find a basic introduction to the series here and a list of all previous posts over here.
Nafplio is a port city in the western part of the Peloponnes peninsula. The former capital of Greece today is mostly a vacation destination for tourists from Athens due to proximity and good ferry connections. People from Athens escape here for weekend trips to shop and enjoy themselves. It is a touristy place for sure with shopping boulevards and many luxury brand stores. The economic crisis Greece is facing was not very obvious and we saw a lot less graffiti and poverty then in other urban areas. Though the city as we saw it definitely didn’t represent the living reality of most of Greek people it was definitely a good place for going out and having a good time in general. There are two castles / fortresses to see here, one on the top of the hill behind the city with a great landscape view over the buildings and the sea and a small fortress on an artificial island within the bay itself.
This post is part of the so called “Greek Series”, consisting of photographies shot during my backpacking adventure in September 2013. You’ll find a basic introduction to the series here. The following pictures are from our first respectively second day of traveling the Peloponnes. We went from Corinth to Acrocorinth and then via the highway in direction Nafplio to Mycenae. I’ll include a map at the end of the post. So the first batch of pictures was taken on Acrocorinth, consisting of panorama shots mostly. The last three pictures are from the archeological sight of ancient Mycanae.
Acrocorinth (meaning High Corinth) is the hill you saw in the background of the pictures from Archea Corinthia, itself close to the modern city (picture 4). It’s a giant stone basically with the remains of a large medieval fortress on top. Having a perfect view on the narrow Isthmus of Corinth (picture 2), the only land way to Athens, you understand the strategic importance of the place. The fortress itself is huge and it has almost fantasy book like dimensions. It consists of a three wall defense system (!) and remains of a town within the walls. Also up there are the remains of an older Aphrodite Temple. Here we met a group of females praying to the goddess. As respectful as I am I didn’t take pictures unfortunately, though it was really interesting and visually striking. We also talked with them and they were really nice giving us some advice for the further journey.
Mycenae was already ancient and a place of myths it the times of Sokrates and Platon. Homer wrote about it in his Odysseus. Other Greeks in the Classic periods were fascinated by the huge walls Mycenaen were able to build. Nobody could quite understand how they transported the stone blocks up there and so the popular belief emerged that giants had build them and they were renamed Cyclopean walls. So until today the walls remain impressive and a mystery somewhat. They were build more or less in the same time as Stonehenge and it seems like there could be some far fletched connection. The most famous part of the complex is the Lions Gate, portrayed on the last picture of the post. The imperial lions are greeting the visitors since 3300 years. The lion is a symbol of strength but also an animal which lived in this area a few thousand years ago. Truly fascinating stuff and worth a Wikipedia reading session.
The route via Google Maps:
This post is part of the Greek Series, in which I recount my travel through Greece in pictures. So the first two entries were all about Athens, as it was the starting point of our journey. It’s time to get away from the city smog (and Athens has truly a lot of it). But not before I show you some impressions from above the city looking down on an amazing sea of urbanity. Most of Athens today is quite young actually, as the city regressed into a small town up to the 19th century. After the country gained independence from the Ottoman empire Athens became more and more important again and exploded truly during the 20th century into the metropole it today certainly is. There are some street shots in here as well, but most of the pictures were taken from one of the many hills of Athens with a beautiful blue sky as permanent background. The last one is a panorama.
A short introduction to the series
In September 2013 friends and me backpacked trough Greece and discovered a beautiful and amazing country torn between its ancient history and struggles of the present. I shot a ton of pictures in these three weeks and it took me months to sort them out. But my plan was right from the beginning to publish them on this blog. I just didn’t know how exactly. So after some brainstorming I decided to organize them thematically and post them in separate collections and not in a chronological order, which didn’t seem like a good fit for this blog. So anyway this is the first part of a long series of pictures which will continue through the winter. Occasionally there may be some postings with wintery shots from Vienna but apart of that it will get sunny, at least over here (well, maybe not right from the beginning) 🙂
In full awareness of the ancient history of Greece and their stunning remains I want to hold the old stones back for now and show you some impressions of urban life in Athens as I saw it.
Largely unnoticed the new university campus of the Economic University of Vienna (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien) was build in a rather remote part of the city. So most of us knew about the construction plans but little did we know about the futuristic character and the sheer extent of the sight. What a surprise! The campus consists of about 6 to 8 buildings constructed by different architects in different styles. In common they have a modern and environmental friendly approach. They are centered around a student plaza effectively creating a public space for its “citizens”. There are also a couple of cafés and shops there. One of them being the “Campus” (shot 4) with a mixed approach of modernism and natural elements consisting of wood and plants. The centerpiece of the campus is the library (as it should be). It was designed by an architect from Hamburg and is simply astonishing (shots 2 – 3 exterior, shots 7 – 9 interior).
As it turned out the day I was in London on the 10th of November also was the day before Remembrance Day and Westminster was in full preparations for the big event. Remembrance Day basically evolved out of the mourning for the death of World War I and became a kind of Veterans Day with a lot of military parades and symbolism. Interestingly already the day before there were a lot of veterans on White Hall and I had the chance to photograph some of them.