Saturday, July 12, 2003

12 July 2003 – 11:04 PM GMT+2

So we peel out of Mycenae, stopping by the nearby Tomb of Atreus (double chambered, yet only one could be entered), and then hitting the Elektra taverna in the small modern village of Mikaini (or something like that). I had some mediocre Pastitsio, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it, and I got a cool set of Pepsi and 7up bottles out of it. Plus, until a German family came by, there were no other people at the restaurant, which prompted the still-puzzling question: How do all these places stay in business? There were at least six places in Mycenae, and they each had maybe one family per hour. Perplexing. Mom bought an icon of St. Catherine at a shop across the street, and after that, we were on our way to see Epidaurus.

As far as I recall, the trip from Mycenae to Epidaurus was uneventful. Oh, I know why—I slept a great portion of it. Upon arriving and awaking at Epidaurus, we got tickets and entered, and Mom and Dad headed to the W.C. A minute or so after they left, the wind started to whip up in the parking lot (away from any cars) about 30 or 40 yards away. It then started to go in this major circular motion, and eventually whipped itself into a full-blown dust-devil (albeit a tiny one). Still, it got about 40 feet up. A Jeep drove through it and the spectacle vanished, just in time for the parents to miss it. Too bad, it was very cool.

The famous thing at Epidaurus is the amphitheater—it is well-preserved and has very good acoustics (performances are still held today). I muttered some things on stage and went a few rows up, but due to my headaches it wasn't possible to climb to the very top. Apparently, I wasn't missing much—Mom said the acoustics at the top (of the Roman-era 2nd level) were not as good in the original Greek section. Greg, Theresa, and I performed a scene, though, from the Strong Bad Email "Caper;" I was Homestar Runner, Theresa was The Cheat, and Greg was Strong Bad, at the part where the cow lamp was broked. It was magnificent.

I cannot say the same for the remainder of the ruins. Epidaurus is not famous for anything aside from the amphitheater, and for good reason—the remainder is scattered stonework in vague arrays. But the Homestar Runner performance made me glad, and I enjoyed the scenic ride from Epidauros to Nafplion.

Nafplion is a very tourist-friendly place. It caters mainly to Greek vacationers, but they didn't mind our business. After checking in at the Hotel Agamemnon, Greg and I rested while the others explored. We regrouped for dinner at one of those generic taverna-ish Greek-ish outdoor eating establishments that pepper the sidewalks of most of Greece's major streets and oceanfront roads. After an expectedly generic dinner, we left, but not before getting a verbal lashing from the neighboring generic eatery's owner for breaking some sort of unspoken promise that we would patronize his establishment over his competitors. I don't understand the economics of it—I think they should combine all their individual efforts into one gigantic nation-wide eatery—not a chain, just one big restaurant. They all serve the same quasi-ethnic food—souvlaki, Greek salads, bread, and if you're lucky, something tasty and/or vegetarian, for those who want it.

After this, Greg returned to the room while the rest of us wandered to an ice cream place. I had some Straciatella, relaxed, and watched a square filled with kids, stray animals, shop-keeper-peddlers, and tourists looking at…something. Maybe me. Afterwards, Mom and Teeps stayed to shop while Dad (who wanted to stay in the square but needed sleep to drive "safely") and I moseyed back to the room. I zonked out fairly quickly, to everyone's dismay, as I hadn't changed into my PJ's, and, when asked, firmly resisted any suggestions to rectify the situation. My laziness won out in the end, and I slept soundly—something I plan on doing right now.