Today we woke up to rain and lightning and traveled to Epidarus where we saw its famous classical ampitheater. The ampitheater can hold up to 14,00 people at one time and the acoustics are so good that you can hear someone whisper at the bottom while standing on the top. We then ventured through the grounds in the puddles to see more of the ancient city. We passed by the foundations of what would have been large hotels along with a stadium and ended at their healing center. We stopped in the museum to get out of the rain and saw some ancient surgical tools which were used to perform brain surgery.
Then we loaded onto the bus just as the rain was ending and heading to Mycenae. As we were driving the sun started to peak out and when we finally arrived it was a beautiful day out, minus our soaking wet clothes. As we entered the ancient city, which was located on a mountain, we passed through a giant stone gate that had a lion engraved above it. One of the stones used is estimated to weigh 20,000 pounds and there are many theories as to how the gate was erected which included aliens and a cyclops lifting the stones. Our guide Aleki let us have some time to explore the ancient ruins of the acropolis, a thousand years older than the ones located in Athens. We met up with some people from St. Thomas, at a neutral site of course, and they told us that the ran into some people from St. Olaf earlier in the day. While we were exploring we came across an ancient cave, which we couldn’t help but venture into. The cave was so dark that the lights on our phones were our only light. At the bottom of these very slippery steps we ran into a puddle from the rainfall earlier in the morning. The was puddle was the end to our cave dwellings because there was no place else to go down there. Then we went for a short ride to see the bee hive tombs. These tombs were named this because of their similarity to a beehive. The tomb we went into was made in 1400 B.C. In the large main room they would fill it with treasure for the deceased kings to take with them to the afterlife. There was a small room off of the main room where the body was placed.
After stopping at the hotel for dry clothes, we were off the Nauplion for a couple hours of free time to explore and shop. We split into small groups and wandered through the streets and did some window shopping, but not before stopping for an authentic Greek gyro. Many people climbed one of the two Bisintine fortresses located high on the hills and enjoyed some great views. A small group went down to the beach along the Agean Sea and a few brave students ventured into the cold water. We came back to the hotel for supper which once again consisted of some delicious unknown food. Class tonight was on the ancient Olympics and for our activity we held our own “Olympic games” which were made up of arm wrestling, Travis won that, leg wrestling, Aly won that, and the paper airplane toss which was won by Sarah L. After we had the closing ceremonies we were informed that wake up call would be 5:30 am so it’s off to bed.
–Matt and Beau