Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Greece 2010 - July 14th - Mani

Driving to the Mani on the 14th, we stopped for a brief time in Sparti to check out the statue of Leonidas.

King Leonidas in butt-kicking regalia.

A short drive later, we wound up in the caves of Diros, which are quite something.  You are taken on a boat ride over about 1.2km, and then walk about 300 further meters through the cave.

Caves of Diros.

Caves of Diros.

Caves of Diros.

Caves of Diros.

Further south is beautiful Vathia, where people still live in a large fortification.  (Their quarters are in the better-preserved portions.)

Vathia's impressive ruins.

Vathia.

Destroyed accomodations.

Juxtaposition of old and new.

Heading further south, we planned on hiking to the end of the land in order to scope out a lighthouse.  After parking in the nearby town and undertaking a difficult hike and quasi-scramble to a tiny beacon, we decided that the experience wasn't anything like what was described in the Lonely Planet.  Everything came to light a moment later as we realized I had taken a wrong turn, bringing us unknowingly to Porto Kagio instead of Kokkinogeia.  As luck would have it Porto Kagio also has a trail leading out to the end of the land outcropping where a beacon/lightouse also stands.  (Laurence spotted somebody who looked an awful lot like Tilda Swinton on the beach there.)

An hour later we were in the right place.  This is the real lighthouse at the end of the Mani:

The end of the world.


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