Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Nafplion, Part 2: Mycenae

We started off the second day by again exploring the city of Nafplio. We even rented a 6-person bike-car, which was extremely difficult to get up even the slightest incline with only 2 of the 6 pedaling. 

Hot from the biking, we then took off our shoes and put our feet in the water. Nafplio has some of the best weather in all of Greece, and it was certainly true during our visit.

In the afternoon, we drove out to the ancient city of Mycenae, the capital of the famous Mycenaean civilization, which flourished from about 1600-1100 BC.

Here are the boys at the famous Lion Gate entrance to the city. The massive stones used to build the walls were conjectured to have been built by cyclopses, as it is difficult to imagine how else they were built. One modern analysis estimates that it would have taken 10 years of continuous work to build the walls using mules, and over 100 years without mules.

The girls were tired of "old rocks piled on top of each other," so it was just the boys and I exploring Mycenae.

The kids have been studying Greek mythology in school, and the boys especially like Hercules, which is part of what inspired our trip, as Mycenae was the seat of King Eurystheus, who usurped the throne from Hercules' family, and who assigned Hercules his 12 labors. During our exploration of the site, we even found the throne room and were able to imagine where the king sat as he devised these labors.

Here's Paul taking a break near the top.

One of the most interesting parts was the cistern, which was basically a long tunnel dug right down the middle of the hill. Without any light at all except the flashlight on my phone, the boys and I walked all the way down to the bottom.

When we came out, the girls were flying our kite in the parking lot. You can see Mycenae in the background, a hill set between two mountains.

And finally, after a lot of exploring in the hot sun, it was time for ice cream.

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