Squeezing our belongings into the backpacks for the third last time of the holiday, we go from Olympia to Nafplio. As per all of our journeys in the Peloponnese, our choice is to either get up very early, take three buses and arrive six or seven hours later, or take an expensive two hour taxi ride. We chose the taxi option.
Rocky and tree-covered mountains, small villages with terracotta roofs, roads zig-zagging up and down to altitudes higher than anything in England or Wales, all made for a spectacular ride through the Alpine-like scenery. It was still expensive though.
Our AirBnB place was a bit of a punt. It was suspiciously cheaper than most others, had only one photo of a not very nice sofa but on the upside, it had rave reviews. We therefore struggle up to the third floor of the building in the old town with a great deal of trepidation. What we are confronted with is a pretty decent size one-bed flat with a huge 10mx10m private terrace, which is overlooked by two Venetian fortresses glowing in the sunset. And, as a bonus, there is a slightly smaller terrace with a line of sight to the sea on the other side. The bed is slightly uncomfortable, but wow, check-out the view!
We are inspired to go to the supermarket and try to remember how to cook for ourselves again. Pasta, gnocchi and other delights are eaten on the terrace, often with the sound of choirs and bands that seem to go from restaurant to restaurant below us or firework displays for the cruise ships in town. Apart from these pleasant distractions, it is very quiet and pretty wonderful. Even a three hour gap in which mains water isn’t available doesn’t spoil anything. We later find out that this is a common problem and subject to a bitter dispute between the town and the water company – must be a nightmare for those who live here.
The old town of Nafplio is like walking around Venice, without the canals and mass crowds. There are piazzas, ice cream shops aplenty, posh boutiques, cafés, good restaurants, lots of jewellery stores and enough outlets to keep up Nafplio’s status as the worry-bead capital of the world. All very picturesque, but clearly some of the prices are for the owners of the Phillip Green-sized yachts moored in the harbour.
We have 10 days here, but have just found out that there are no buses to our next destination on day we leave, so it looks like we need to get another one of our budget-busting taxis that day. Every silver lining….