Navplion or Nafplio (depending on who one speaks with) is a real pretty and lively port town in modern Greece. Venetian homes and neoclassical facades, remnants of a more opulent era have been carefully preserved and residents are obviously proud of their architectural treasures. The town is sandwiched onto a narrow strip of land between sea and a very high coastal ridge. Constitution Square (Platia Syntagmatos), where three old Ottoman mosques have been preserved, is just a few blocks from the pier. Amazing that one can follow the Ottoman crusade through various countries in Europe, having been in Malta only a few days ago and listening to our guide talk of these marauders is quite interesting. Of the 3 remaining mosques one is now a theater, while another served as Greece’s first parliament building in 1827. The other mosque is still used, but was re-consecrated as the cathedral of Agios Yioryios.
Three fortresses were built to protect Navplion. The oldest, Akronafpila Fortress, is also known by its Turkish name “three castles. Equally impressive is Palamidi Fort which still towers atop a 700 foot crag above the town. One can attempt to climb to Paladidi by using the 899 step staircase that leads from the end of Polidhous Street. Trust me not for the faint of heart. In case you are wondering we walked from the Pier to the start of the steps and then turned and went in another direction.
The foliage is amazing, we can’t cease to wonder at the wonderful colours of flowers and vegetation. Lovely steps lead down to private beaches. Cacti grow in almost mutant shapes and sizes.
The houses are lovely with flowers growing freely on balcony. The main colour of the painted houses is blue (after the colour of their flag). There are many steps up to houses and along narrow walkways. Constitucion Square was filled with people and a group of boys playing soccer. Lots of life on Sunday, obviously a family day.
Many of the stores were opened today, even though it was Sunday. Pat purchased a pair of silver earrings (with a filigree pattern design) and an antique broach made by hand by a local artist.
We had lunch at a lovely cafe; we elected to sit outside in the sun; a lot of people here smoke and the odour is everywhere. It was most unusual for us to see.
One of the photos above has an ice-rink – yes, ice in Greece in the Spring and it’s close to 22C. It was lovely seeing young people put on skates and slide around the small rink. We decided not to give it a try!
In all we probably walked many kilometres exploring the isthmus, having lunch, and enjoying the fresh air and of course the sunshine. We lift anchor tonight at 10pm and head for Athens for 7am tomorrow. Till then, be well.