Preliminary remark: Salamis! The naval battle of Salamis, an island we also passed by, is almost an anniversary to the day! It was in the last days of September 480, exactly 2500 years ago, that the Greeks (Themistocles) defeated the Persians (Xerxes). Historians say that this was the origin of an independent, western, non-orientated occidental culture, with political development, with literature, theatre, epics, "classical Greek" as we understand it today. But of course there were already advanced civilizations in this area, Mycenae, and Homer's epics date back to the eighth century. But the cultural area of that time, the Levant, probably reached as far as Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt in the south, so it was not as independent as it is…….
Greek country life - of course Aglaya remained in the water. But as storm was announced, we wanted to weather it as safely as possible. So Nea Epidauros, a tiny harbour, but protected on all sides - 3 km away the village (the famous theatre is only 15 km away), which is picturesquely and wildly rising up a mountain slope, surrounded by steep rugged rocks and canyons. On top, on one of the rocks, the remains of a Byzantine fortress, and a village like in a Greek picture book. Sleepy steep streets, rather corridors, tiny squares, a single pub in the village square, but: this is where Greek independence was declared, in 1822, after the Ottoman domination was overcome; a column and a museum bear witness to this. As always, we climbed up in the midday heat and were rewarded with a gigantic wide view of almost all the islands of the Saronic Gulf, suburbs of Athens so to speak. Aegina, Methana, Poros, Salamina, Agristi……..
Between port and village a plain where oranges, lemons and wine are cultivated, very idyllic everything. So we walked through these groves and, as usual for us, we got further and further into the hills. The walk ended after 10km in Palea Epidauros, i.e. in the old Epidauros, a charming bay - and on a peninsula an amphitheatre, which is only a fraction of the size of the famous theatre, but which has a completely different and wonderful charm amidst olive groves - and completely without tourists.
The taxi brought us back to our little harbour, where Aglaya was patiently waiting for us.