The picturesque port of Geiranger, Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Geiranger, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Acrocorinth Fortress, and another shipwreck

We slept fine at the Acrocorinth parking area high above everything else. Only one other van spent the night as well. A police car came up to check on things just as we were getting ready to go explore the fortress. He gave us a friendly wave.

The fortress opens at 8:30am, and surprisingly is free of charge. We were the first ones in, and had the place to ourselves until we saw a single man on the grounds as well. Wouldn't have mattered if there were a hundred other people... the place is huge. 

In fact, I'm sure it would take a good three hours to see it all. And we wanted to get some driving done, so we gave ourselves an hour to hike up to one of the viewpoints and do some exploring along the way. Looks like a good area to return to some day so that we can see more.

The lower gate.

The main wall that circles the fortress is 3 kms (1.8 miles) long. Then, there are interior walls and gates as well. 

The inner area had been inhabited since medieval times, and most recently during the Ottoman era in the 17th century.  

There is also a small natural spring near the top of the hill, so the fortress had it's own secure water supply and there are several large cisterns built into the fortress. 

View from the lower wall.

Looking back at the parking area.

Inside the lower gate.


Ruth, at the 3rd gate.


In the later years (17th century), there was a mix of Muslims and Christians living in harmony at the fortress. There were 7 small mosques, and 5 small Christian churches.

The best preserved of the 7 mosques that existed at the fortress.

Fantastic views in all directions.

The wall that circles the compound.

Looking down on the 3rd gate.





Looking down on the parking area.
Can you see Max?

Views from the Acrocorinth.

Not a bad day, but overall cloudy. We enjoyed our hour or so of exercise, but wanted to get some driving done. We will need to return to this area some day.

The first part of the drive was not that scenic, other than the stop we made to see the amazing Corinth Canal. Other than that, it's a fairly industrial area with a lot of ship building and oil refinery stuff. After all, at one point we were only 25 kms (15 miles) from the center of Athens!

The Corinth Canal.

At one entrance to the canal is this submersible bridge. 

There used to be two lanes, but one has been removed. The remaining lane is open, but only for vehicles up to 3 tons. Max decided he didn't want to risk it. When a ship wants to pass, the bridge lowers itself into the water, deep enough to allow the ship to cross above it.

The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It is 6.4 kilometres (4 miles) in length and only 21.4 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it impassable for many modern ships. It is currently of little economic importance becoming mainly a tourist attraction.

It was built between 1881 and 1893.

That's a long way down!

Not a very scenic area.

But it was an interesting drive anyhow.

We took the free road.
You can see the expensive toll road above us.

Looking back at where we had come from.

As we got closer to Athens there was lots of different shipping traffic.

Including this wreck of the Mediterranean Sky.

The Mediterranean Sky was a small cruise ship built in 1953 to do the run between London and South Africa, which it could do in 15 days. It was originally called The City of York. 

Here it is in 1967. 

Here it is now.

Sad.

We had some lunch there, and then headed northwest away from Athens. Not a lot of interest in making a detour to Athens at this time. I've read that it's not the nicest of the European capitals... a big dirty city with lots of graffiti. I'm not against visiting it sometime, but perhaps when we are there anyhow to use either the airport or a ferry. For now, we've got other plans.

The ship with the orange tanks is a bulk liquified natural gas carrier.

Shipyards and oil refineries.

We were quite happy to head back into the countryside.

Not much left of this ruins wall.

An interesting cave. We should have stopped, but we didn't.

Castle on a hill.

Mountains in the distance.

Scenery along the way.
Heading down to the gorge.

We ended up spending the night at the Asopos River Gorge... the same place we stayed on December 17th.

Yesterday's drive, 234 kms (145 miles).

Today is another long driving day as we are on the road early to get up to the Museum of the Royal Tombs west of Thessaloniki.

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6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. We are really happy to hear that. It has definitely been a great trip so far, with lots of beautiful scenery and interesting things to see.

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  2. We traveled through the Corinth Canal eons ago on our 39 ft sailing catamaran, Icarus. Such great memories. Looks like you’re having a fabulous trip! Have fun and stay safe. Hugs, Bonnie and Dave

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that is great, another one of our readers also mentioned that they took their sailboat through the canal too. That would have been an incredible sight to have seen from that vantage point.

      We are having an amazing trip so far!

      I hope everything is working out for you guys now that you are back State's side. I hope we will get a chance to meet up with you again next summer. :-)

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  3. Replies
    1. Lol, if Greece really liked us it would be a few degrees warmer! Work up this morning (Jan. 19th) to -5 Celsius.

      We have enjoyed our time here in Greece and there is still so much more to see but we still prefer Albania more.

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