Besides chopping tomatoes, cucumbers and feta, my duties while visiting Ted include planning weekend trips. Luckily our previous apartment tenants left a few well worn travel guides behind. (Either they never planned on returning to Greece or their suitcases were so full of almonds, olive oil, and honey that they had no room for books.) I've flipped through page after page of the old books and my newer ones, looking for magical places to visit, ones with the sea sparkling outside a flower framed window. Words entice me to places I can't ever pronounce: Zakynthos, Astypalaia, Nisyros and Monemvassia.
Our first weekend trip to Nafplio was a success. Well worth the 2 and one half hour bus ride, Nafplio charmed us with its' stone path overhanging the Aegean, a promenade on the harbor, a central square paved with pinkish marble, and a mini fortress protecting it all. People at Ted's work had said, "Oh, Nafplio... romantic... Oh Nafplio, yes, Nafplio, yes... yes." We knew before we left that that day would probably be fun.
Now I'm planning our next trip. Ted is too busy at work to have much input and he doesn't really care where we go. The criteria for the second trip is simple. It can't be more than 6 hours away from Athen's Terminal B, a grungy hub for regional buses that constantly crisscross Greece.
In reading the travel guides, I kept returning to page 406 of the 1995 edition of "Athens and The Peloponnesse," published by Knopf.
"A spellbinding town, Monemvassia is beyond compare: its isolation is more or less complete, its serenty belongs to another age. For more than a century the city gate has stood open day and night; and once you have passed through it, you will find yourself in a totally different world. ... In Monemvassia time seems to have stood still."
Who in their right mind wouldn't want to visit such a place? I took the bait and we are going to visit the place where time stood still. So this is a heads up to let you know that we will not be home Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. We will arrive on Friday, April 11, at Hotel Malvasia in Monemvassia around 5 pm and return on Sunday, April 13 by 10:00 pm to our apartment. (You can check out the Hotel on the Web and should any emergencies arrive, the phone number is there, too.)
This trip is a step into the unknown. No one in Ted's office has visited the site. Hopefully we will be full of raves when we return.