Jay & Kristi - Eurotrip 2006 travel blog

Finikounda boat

Finikounda Bay

When we originally booked this trip, Jay and I did not bother to look at a European calendar and did not realize that our first weekend in Greece would be Orthodox Easter. We were so lucky to have a room reserved. Nafplio seems to be the place where the Italian And Greek Families come to celebrate. The town is packed full to the brim and I think we are the only Americans. It is hard to describe Nafplio except that it is like Disneyland on steroids...in a good way. The streets are spotless, we have seen two bugs in the entire town and the architecture, shopping and dining are all perfect in every way.

The Easter Celebration began on Friday night at about 5:30pm. The dozen or so churches that surrounded our Pension began singing to each other with bell calls for about an hour. We opened the windows to our room and just listened to the chanting and singing of the closest church directly below us. A procession went throught the town center and we ran down..yes...200 steps to witness something we will probably never see again. It was raining lightly and everyone was standing around with candles. It was all very beautiful. After the parade the procession went back to the church and another mass ending with another hour of bell ringing. Very surreal experience and a memory that we will have forever.

Saturday was bustling with people enjoying outdoor cafes, excellent Greek food and of course, the daily Ice Cream and Coffee ritual.

Sunday most everything was closed and call to mass, with the bell ringing, began at 8:30 am and echoed throughout the entire valley. We dediced to go for a drive in our lovely little car. We are greatful it is little...the roads here can be a bit hairy..but more about that later...LOL I did not realize I was married to Mario Andretti...LOL

On Sunday we drove to the Mycenae Ruins through the most amazing countryside. If you can imagine the Napa Valley of California with all of the grape vines, Orange trees, Olive Trees, Lemon Trees and wildflowers that you could ever imagine and couple that with the height and rocky peaks of the Rocky Mountains...oh yeah..then throw in the Mediteranean Sea...Indescribable...Paradise. Because it was Easter Sunday, every small town along our drive was having a feast. As we drove out of Nafplio we could see smoke rising all about the area. We soon realized that every house was spit roasting a full lamb for thier afternoon and evening feast. We feel very special to have actually experienced the true Greece for a few days instead of the touristy areas that we have heard are like Cancun or Daytona..full of tour groups and spring breakers.

Our last night in Nafplio ended with a bang...literally. Sunday night after the feasting and mass, the sky turned brilliant with hundreds of fireworks shooting of from every church...again amazing. What a perfect 4 days...we will return here someday.

I won't spend too much time on Finikounda as it was a long but beautiful drive and very quiet, but we met some lovely people and enjoyed the rest. Next we are back to Athens for a few days...stay tuned. Pictures are coming soon...be patient...LOL

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