Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The third week...
and we'd become such lotus eaters it might have been impossible to leave Paxos without the lure of the seaplane which whisked us off to Corfu at sunrise.
By sunset we're on Salamina island, after travelling by plane, car, and finally ferry across Thermopolae Straits, where the tiny Athenian fleet saved the City States from Persian invasion in 490BC. We're searching for the legendary cave of Euripedes, unknown even to the Rough Guide, for the setting of Steve's next play - which we heard last week has been shortlisted for production by Theatre West, so that adds zest to the quest.

Salamina isn't that big but the population's more than 10 times that of Paxos, and it's totally untouristified. So there's no concessions to non-greek linguists, not even the road signs, and our explorations need much ingenuity, many pidgin pleasantries, and Steve's knowledge of Russian (their alphabet is similar, apparently) before we reach Euripedes Kanteen, a friendly little bar on a hillside above the tiny bay of Peristeria. A steep clamber led us to discover... excavations of an ancient marble tomb, and a giant wild tortoise.

Time to move on to Delphi, where this often under-appreciated Greek dramatist would have seen his plays in performance at the amphitheatre beside oracle.

As befits a Greek odyssey, we had varied adventures before reaching Athens airport again, so I'm just going to post a few extra images from a place I still feel I'm wandering...

- morning view from our rooms in Krisso, near Delphi

- Orchomenos ancient amphitheatre

- a figure from a family votive offering to Apollo, 2nd Century BC (yes folks, that is 2,200 years ago....!!)

- American visionary Eva Sikelianus, who revived the tradition of amphitheatre drama in Greece in 1927

- that tortoise

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