Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ancient Corinth

I used to have a really nifty photo editor thing connected to my Google photos that helped me make my crappy Android photos look nice. Sorry if you thought my life was unedited. This is the internet, after all. Anyway, They did away with that program, and I really, really don't want to find a new one. I guess that means we're toning down the class and quality of this blog. Good.

For Labor Day, Phil, The Kid, and I went to Ancient Corinth. Ancient Corinth is right next door to Not-Ancient Corinth, but they aren't the same place. That distinction doesn't really matter. It's superfluous information and, if I were a better writer, I would chop it out of this piece. Corinth has a long, interesting history that is unfortunately too long and interesting for me to want to summarize much here. The basic gist is that it has been very important at times, and very unimportant at times. It has been thriving at times, and destroyed by earthquakes at times. Once, it was a big Roman city. Once, it was the capital of Greece. Go to Wikipedia for the details. They're fun.

You might know Corinth best as the city in the Bible that Paul had to yell at repeatedly. When the city was thriving under Roman rule, they liked to live it up big. They were prosperous, and wealthy. They also had a big temple to Aphrodite up on the hill that was basically a giant, religious brothel. Paul was not a fan. According to tradition, Paul preached on the steps of what was essentially city hall, and established a Christian church in the city. He wrote to them a few times to make sure they were toeing the line. See: The Bible.

There are two main archaeological sites in Corinth, with a smattering of old stuff in the outskirts of the new city. The Acrocorinth, or "Sex Mountain," as Phil and I affectionately call it, is a big fortification on a hill where the Corinthians kept second homes in case of pirate attacks. It's also where Aphrodite's temple was, hence the nickname. The fortification had free entry, but was a bit of a hike. For an especially rugged experience, strap a fussy baby to your chest.

A view of old and new Corinth.

Old castle stuff.

Peloponnese in late summer. Also, Phil in late summer.

Trying to get into the castle. He couldn't. Shortly after this, we took refuge from the heat in an old fireplace.

I vaguely remember this. The last few meters of this hike involved me plugging my ears so I couldn't hear the wails of my infant. I think this is another view of new Corinth, and the beaches where locals like to hang.

Proof that I was actually there, and didn't just sit in the car. I thought about it. That white thing in front of me is the hat on my kid's giant head.

This is the entrance to the fortress. I took this photo after we'd come back down, so I was feeling pretty good about it.
I miss the edited photos. I do. The second main archaeological site is the ancient city of Corinth. There is a small, fantastic museum attached to the site. To see the city and the museum will cost you 8 euros, but they are worth it. There's a lot of old, pretty Roman stuff in the site and in the museum. Honestly, I think it's one of the nicest museums I've seen here, including the big archaeological one in Athens.

An old fountain, with the temple of Apollo in the background. 

Temple of Apollo. 

Phil and The Kid in Ancient Corinth.

Headless Man and Sex Mountain.

This photo was taken in the place where Paul was said to have preached his sermons. This was the heart of a bustling town. It's a bit hard to imagine...

...but then you see something like this, and think, "Wow." This was part of an ancient mall across the street from ancient city hall where Paul preached.

This is the courtyard of the museum with Acrocorinth Sex Mountain in the background. I wanted to take more photos inside, but I wasn't totally sure if cameras were allowed. I think they were. I don't know. I was also tired, and hungry, and I had to pee. It was a great, great museum, though.

Corinth is not too far from Athens, and makes a nice day trip. We spent half a day at the sites, and you could easily spend the rest of the day at a pretty beach. So, go.

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