Typed w/o internet on 3.23.11
When DaVinci said,
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
He had probably recently been abroad. As hard as it is to live out of a suitcase and a backpack for three months, its harder to manage anything more than that while catching busses, trams, trains, and daily hotel check-ins. I’m fairly happy with my five black tee-shirts, 3 over-shirts, jeans, khakis, shorts, toiletry bag, notebook, laptop, socks, and underwear. Anything I accumulate will push my sanity exponentially by virtue of its weight and ability to be lost or stolen. As long as I can wash myself, have relatively clean clothes, and contact home periodically, I’ll be just fine.
Anyway, we struck out for Pylos yesterday. Nafplion was great and it had been fantastic to tour the Argon Plain for 3 days, but we needed to keep moving in order to complete our tour of Bronze Age (3000-1200BC) ruins. Before heading to Crete. The ride took about four hours, and it was the classic movie scenerio where the native driver takes all the foreigners on the scariest mountain curved roads. Our driver has a cruel sense of humor.
The last week has been a grand succession of Bronze Age citadel ruins. Here is the breakdown.
Lerna: oldest formation (Early-Middle Helladic) & pre-Mycenaen. The House of Tiles was an impressive and well-excavated ruinous corridor house (communal government building). It also showed of era transition w/ an apsidal (individual house) in the back of the complex.
Tiryns: Cyclopean Walls fortifying a Mycenaean fortress. This complex was well contained so it was easy to close your eyes periodically to imagine in its heyday 3500 years ago. Also unfortunately excavated by Heinrich Schliemann.
Mycenae: Just plain awesome. Supposedly, it was Agamemnon’s domain. See last entry for further detail.
Pylos: Nestor’s Palace was extremely well preserved. Containing two megarons (grand throne rooms), a chariot workshop, a scribe-room, and a store of Linear B tablets among other things. Also, Nestor’s Bathtub was great (just google-image it, my camera charger is in Athens).
On a personal note, It’s a roller-coaster ride to experience wonder and fascination between bouts of homesickness and feeling out of the ordinary. It’s like I needed to find a happy medium between Greece and Gurnee. Canada, maybe? Nevermind.
Only joking. I’m very grateful for this experience. We’re going to a fish taverna tonight. Prof. Fisher made friends with the owner last night and he’s having us over for catch of the day. The Mediterranean is gorgeous. Our current housing looks out over the harbor of Pylos. Pretty fantastic.
Here’s a special shout out to my Grandma in Arizona. Thanks for all your support and encouragement. I think I got my travel skill from you. I’m getting pretty pro at finding my way around, ordering unknown food, and talking to locals. Hope all is well in AZ.
To all of you, please feel free to comment or ask questions.
I’ll be back in Athens tomorrow night.