After our time in Naxos we felt like we had a pretty good grasp on what Greece was like, but we wanted to explore a little more of the country before we left, and we are so glad we did! As we explored Athens and then a large portion of the Peloponnesian peninsula we were able to see a whole different side of Greece with tall green mountains, forests and architecture that was very different from what we found on the islands. We spent most of our time exploring towns with ancient ruins, as we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to experience the rich history Greece had to offer and teach it to our children.
Something to note as I write about these places is that there are many different spellings for these towns depending on where you look. The Greek language is very difficult and there were more than a few times the translated name on the map didn’t match the name on TripAdvisor, GPS, our even a hotel’s website. If it was spelled in any way similarly, you had to figure it was the same place.
We were actually in Athens twice. A few days before and a few days after our time on Naxos. Normally, I would say a few days in Athens would be plenty, but in our first few days there, Jeromy and the boys were still feeling pretty sick with the flu so they didn’t leave the hotel much. I still got out a bit so when we came back the second time, Jeromy and the boys went and saw the sights I had already seen while I spent a glorious day away from everyone at the spa. I love my family, but being together 24 hours a day 7 days a week can get wearing after awhile.
To us, the highlight of the ruins at Corinth is that this is a place where Paul (the Apostle to Jesus Christ) taught. You can see the platform where he preached and also where he stood trial. The ruins were very impressive and they had a nice, if small, museum there as well. It really brought the Bible to life being there and seeing where the people lived when Paul wrote the letters to the Corinthians that later became books in The Holy Bible.
Nafplio was a beautiful, upscale, coastal town where we were told the people of Athens like to vacation on the weekends. We enjoyed exploring the beaches, ruins, walkways, shops, and restaurants.
Our first night there we ran into some rock climbers and realized that we were in an amazing place to rock climb. Whenever someone asked my boys what they missed most about home (besides friends and family) the number one thing Parker and Tyler always said was rock climbing. At home they went to a rock climbing gym once a week and it was a highlight of their week. When we got to Nafplio and realized it was a rock climbing destination spot, I looked up a guide and signed them up! They haven’t had very many opportunities to go rock climbing outside and thanks to our amazing guides, they had a great day climbing. I even took a turn and made it up one route! Even though the name of it was “Easy Corner” I was still proud of myself.
On the same rock face as we were climbing was a church in a cave in the rock. There were so many of these little churches in remote places all throughout our time in Greece. This was the perfect opportunity for us to explore one.
These are one set of ruins that almost everyone has heard about in their lifetime. The ruins of Ancient Olympia where the first Olympic Games were held. We were able to explore the extensive ruins and museum learning about the lives of the people in that time. The boys even had a foot race in the first Olympic stadium…pretty cool.
I didn’t know what to expect with the ruins of Delphi; however, I was blown away by not only the ruins themselves, but the incredibly beautiful setting. It was truly in the mountain tops looking down on the world below. I can see why people thought that ancient gods would choose this as a place to call home.
By the end of our time in Greece we had had our fill of Greek food and Greek ruins and were ready to move on to a new culture and cuisine. We were so grateful however, to have been able to spend such a large amount of time learning, experiencing, and living with the people of The Hellenic Republic.