6 January ’05, Thursday. I must say, I could get used to having our meals outside… yesterday lunch, this mornings breakfast, and tonight I barbequed…all this and it’s January. I know, a couple of days ago it was cold, blowing and raining, but this is today. Last night I wrote about the celebration of Epiphany and a little of what the Greeks do at this celebration. Well, we hadn’t been more than 20 minutes out from checking out of our campground and we came across a small crowd of people congregating at a small marina at sea side. Guessing what was about to happen, Louise and I found a parking spot and followed the crowd. Sure as heck, just after we got there a procession of young boys, a Greek Orthodox Priest, a Navy officer, and others came down the breakwater to a stand that was already set up. There they gave a short service (in Greek). In front of the stand were 4 young men who were wearing their swimming suits. At a certain point in the sermon, the Priest throws the cross into the water in a blessing. On the 3rd throw, the 4 swimmers jump into the water to retrieve the cross. The one who gets there first is said to have good luck blessed on him. This is our first blessing of water, and I’m glad we had a chance to experience it. Our trip today was to take us from Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon to Corinth (Korinthos) in the Peloponnese. Just as we crossed into the Peloponnese, we came into Corinth and passed over the Corinth Canal. This canal was first proposed in the 7th Century BC, but instead built a paved slipway across the Isthmus of Corinth linking the Ionian and Aegean Seas. The sailors dragged small ships on rollers until the 13th century. In AD 67, Nero decided that the time had come and took a golden pick himself and made the first blow to the earth. He then left the work to 6000 Jewish prisoners to finish digging the canal. It didn’t get completed then because of wars and other problems, but then in 1883 a French engineering company completed the canal. This canal is 6 km long (3.7 miles), 23 meters wide (76 feet), and 90 meters high (298 feet). As we walked out onto the foot bridge to take pictures, we saw a sign “Bungee Jump” from the Corinth bridge into the Corinth Canal…me ?… It was dizzying enough just standing there, let alone have someone place a rubber band onto my ankle and say “jump”… Talking about a ride…today’s trip covered about 4 hours on the road. Most of the time we were on a very modern toll road. It cost us about 5 euros for the complete trip. The roads were very wide (4 lanes), perfectly smooth, fast, and very few cars and trucks. The scenery spectacular.
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