After visiting Athens, our party of 3 couples boarded the blue van which would take us on some real adventures. All three men had obtained international drivers' licenses and took turns driving the standard shift vehicle, which most had not driven in years. We were headed for a village on the southeastern tip of the Pelopponesus called Monemvasia.
The terrain was very dry and rocky, and olive trees grew everywhere. Our journey took us over steep mountain roads...
with many hairpin and tight 'S' turns...
which seemed to go on forever!
Finally (after several hours) we arrived at the "half way" point, at a restaurant where we met our friend and guide, Angelo, who grew up in Monemvasia, and who was eager to share his love of the area with us!
After lunch, we followed Angelo's car and made a few stops along the way,
and finally reached our destination, beautiful Monemvasia.
Right across the street from our hotel was the ocean, and in the middle of the ocean was a huge rock, or so it seemed. In reality the rock is a mile long fortress which houses an ancient castle and city, built right into its far side. A narrow causeway connects it to the mainland.
We walked the narrow road one morning (about 20 minutes) and arrived at the ancient door of the fortress,
traveled up the steep rocky street inside,
stopped for a coffee outside the stone belfry,
saw one of many local kitties, and visited some shops.
All deliveries were made by handcart up the rocky street and down rocky steps in the alleys.
Some fearless members of our party hiked up to the ancient upper town, which, according to my husband, was quite a climb on a very hot day! You may have gathered that I stayed behind!
There were ancient ruins,
and, at the top was the church of Agia Sofia,
a few still inhabited houses,
and, of course, a spectacular view!
I promise not to take so long with my next post, where I'll finish up with a few more wonderful adventures we experienced!
Hope you're having a very good week!