Michael and Pam's Travels

Ancient Olympia, Greece. 2015

Travelled: 84 kilometres from Kalo Nero to Katakolo, the Peloponnese.
Visited: Ancient Olympia, Archeological Museum and Archeological Site €9 pp.
Stayed: On the waterfront at Katakolo just east of the port, free no service. N37.65114, E21.31718

 

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It’s been a very pleasant night at Kalo Nero, we have been chatting away with our Dutch neighbours about camper car adventures and the Greek work ethic V Angela Merkel. Another Dutch couple wander over, they spent many years in Australia when they were younger and have many fond memories. We BBQ some calamari and cook a paella having a walk up to the taverna for desert later in the evening. It’s a hard life on the road.

 

Beachfront parking in Kalo Nero.

Beachfront parking in Kalo Nero.

 

The clouds gather on the mountains behind Kaol Nero, by the time we get to Olympia the skies are clear and it's hot.

The clouds gather on the mountains behind Kaol Nero, by the time we get to Olympia the skies are clear and it’s hot.

 

Another cool night and we hear a little rain on the roof, but by sunrise the sky’s are clear. First light is not until after 7 am and a dozy sleep-in is very easy. It’s a busy morning, there are several motorhomes parked along the beach and people are swimming or servicing their vehicle prior to moving on, we are doing both.

 

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We depart by mid-morning heading north before turning east into the hills for Ancient Olympia. By mid-day we have arrived in the village of Olympia and park with a couple of other motorhomes near the entrance to the site. After the last week or so on the coast, it seems hot here in the hills some 30 kilometres inland. We have a coffee before walking to the ticket office, we are €9 pp poorer and begin the walk through the gardens to the museum.

 

Pam is constantly drawn to men in uniform

Pam is constantly drawn to men in uniform

 

This photo was the start of my problems, I got a real lecture from a very attractive young security person who insisted I delete the photo. I was so taken aback I accidentally deleted a picture of Pam in the shower instead, hence the photo.

This photo was the start of my problems, I got a real lecture from a very attractive young security person who insisted I delete the photo. I was so taken aback I accidentally deleted a picture of Pam in the shower instead, hence the photo.

 

It’s proves to be a fascinating visit, the archeological site is immense, the museum extraordinary. The sacred grove of Olympia took shape a thousand years before the birth of Christ. The ruins of most of the significant buildings date to the 7th century BC. Games were conducted here every four years for a thousand years. For a couple from the Shire it stretches the imagination. The Olympic torch relay starts from here, every four years.

 

This photo is for Gaye, she loves all this old stuff. The items in the museum were just amazing.

This photo is for Gaye, she loves all this old stuff. The items in the museum were just amazing.

 

There has also been an obvious effort to shorten the dole queue by employing a huge staff within the complex. Every 50 metres in any direction there is another security person. Co-incidentally every security person is talking on their phone to family or friends. The security staff are all female between 20-30 but we presume that’s co-incidental or there are three men on the selection panel. Then there’s the rules regarding pictures, you can take a picture, but not a selfie, no personal photos and no photos of the security staff, however that may be something to do with them being on the phone.

 

Click this panorama to get a full screen picture. It's the series of statues from the cable end of Apollo's Temple.

Click this panorama to get a full screen picture. It’s the series of statues from the cable end of Apollo’s Temple.

 

Pam lights her torch for the relay. Got another lecture for this photo as well.

Pam lights her torch for the relay. I got another lecture for this photo as well.

 

Visiting Greece is about the culture as much as the weather and the beach. We have found you need to find a balance. You cannot look at stone columns and museum every day and find it interesting.

Visiting Greece is about the culture as much as the weather and the beach. We have found you need to find a balance. You cannot look at stone columns and museums every day and find it interesting.

 

It’s been a great visit and we walk up to the village enjoying a gyro for lunch and some free internet. The Greek gyros are a great lunchtime snack and our favourite with a refreshing beverage. We manage to upload some photos and post a blog before heading back to the coast for some R and R in Katakolo.

 

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On our way into Pyrgos we start to see large piles of rubbish on the side of the road. There is obviously something going on, a strike perhaps, we never find out why. But it’s windows up and airconditioning on until we pass through Pyrgos which takes a while. It’s the worst thing I have seen for a long time and I don’t know how they will ever clear it.

 

Bonus Photo, another cemetery another tap !

Bonus Photo, another cemetery another tap !

 

Travelled: 51 kilometres from Katakolo to Melissa Beach (Kastro), the Peloponnese.
Visited: Lazed on the beach.
Stayed: Melissa Beach, free with tap and toilet (unbelievable as it may seem), taverna nearby. N37.88937, E21.11149 (2 nights).

 

Obviously there will be lots of tourists in Olympia today.

Obviously there will be lots of tourists in Olympia today.

 

Katakolo is the port a few kilometres from Pyrgos (free of mountains of rubbish thankfully). Pyrgos is a large town, Katakolo is really a village. While Katakolo may have developed as a regional port, it’s apparently a cruise ship stopover for tourist to visit Olympia. In fact there’s a very fancy little motor-rail running from Katakolo to Olympia. Why all this trivia, we go to sleep parked next to three other motorhomes and wake up to a large cruise ship docking just behind us.

 

Free camping in Kataloko.

Free camping in Katakolo.

 

While we are technically parked on the beach, it’s a fine hard-packed sand almost like powder and being a port you would not swim here. To us Katakolo was a quiet spot to spend the night and little more. A quick coffee and fruit before we say goodbye to our Austrian neighbours and head north looking for a proper beach.

 

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An hour later we found a lovely beach and some neighbors at Melissa Beach. It's only an hour from Patra so we'll stay here until our ferry on Thursday afternoon.

An hour later we found a lovely beach and some neighbors at Melissa Beach. It’s only an hour from Patra so we’ll stay here until our ferry on Thursday afternoon.

 

There is also a very impressive looking castle at Kastro, about 3 kilometres back. So we will have a look at that whilst where here.

There is also a very impressive looking castle at Kastro, about 3 kilometres back. So we may have a look at that whilst where here.

 

Our Dutch neighbor offers me a lesson on his paddle board.

Our Dutch neighbor offers me a lesson on his paddle board.

 

As it turned out I didn't need one.

As it turned out I didn’t need one.

 

 

Michael and Pam

 

4 thoughts on “Ancient Olympia, Greece. 2015

  1. Gaye Jennings

    Thanks for the great photos. They make me even more jealous of not being there. Olympus has always been on my bucket list. We didn’t get past Athens and some of the Greek Islands. Pam, you look very tanned and healthy. Gaye

  2. Judy Wade

    When we were on a cruise there we took the little train to Olympia but couldn’t go right into the ruins as it was Easter & it was closed for the day. Thanks for your photos!

  3. Rita

    Hi you intrepid travellers !

    Although I have not commented – I have become addicted to my near daily dose of your travel tales. I hear and see more of you when you are braving the big wide world out there, than when you are at home – so I’d love to see you continue your blog, once you have returned to hearth and home:)

    Travel savely

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