Saturday, July 12, 2003

12 July 2003 – 10:00 PM GMT+2

So then we woke up for our first driving day. The waking up and check-out procedure was generally non-dramatic. There was a dramatic conversation about hiring people; Theresa got up in a huff (she contends she desired coffee, but I see through her tissue of lies). We thus walked to Europcar with luggage in tow. Upon arrival, Mom and Dad were irked and dismayed to discover that the agency lacked our precious reserved van! After careful deliberation, we chose a lime green Renault Scénic as our first vehicle of the trip.

We got ourselves out of Athens (with the authorities none the wiser) and headed west to Corinth. But, traffic stalled our progress, and in the gridlock we discovered one of the great conflicts of the trip. Theresa enjoys the "fresh" air outside—she claims that she dislikes vomiting from carsickness induced by the A/C. Every sensible person (including myself, of course), thinks that the scalding heat deserves, nay, demands the cool fingers of refreshing Air Conditioning. So we argued and never quite came up with a solution that pleased anyone. But Teeps hasn't vomited, so that's good.

After passing through the traffic we went over the famous Corinth Canal (completely missing it in the process) and turned south to Mycenae. For those of you who have failed to either read the Frommer's or who missed Mom's numerous recitations of said Frommer's, Mycenae was the home of Agamemnon, Klytemnestra, Elektra, Iphigenia, and Orestes. And others. In its hey-day, there were palaces, roads, gold, silver, jewels, and even walls, ceilings, well-defined paths, and a lack of rubble! However, none of that really remained to the present, with the exception of a gate with lions (called Lion's Gate), a few tombs, some maybe-walls, a tunnel I missed apparently, and lots of no shade. But heat! So much heat! I understand the historical value of the site, but the lack of well-defined structures (except those for the dead) made it less magical, than say, Hadrian's Villa or Pompeii. But the view was quite nice, and it must be acknowledge that it is far older than the aforementioned sites, and so can not be expected to be in similarly good condition.