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Friday, November 19, 2010

A long trip to Corinth

We woke up the next morning later than I expected, but then I realized how late we had gone to bed the night before. We got ready, had the free breakfast at the hostel and then headed to find the bus to Corinth. We knew the bus ride was about 1.5 hours, but what we didn’t figure into the equation was that we had to walk to the metro, take the metro to a area of town where we could find a bus, take that bus to the main bus terminal, then take the longer bus ride to the new area of Corinth, and from there take another half hour bus ride to “Old Corinth” where Paul spent time and with the ancient ruins we wanted to see. We left to hostel around 10 and arrived in Old Corinth around 2:30, so much for 1.5 hour trip.
When we walked up to the gate of the ruins and museum we saw that they were only open until 15:00. We of course though that we’d see as much as we could in that half hour but the woman working in the ticket booth informed us we didn’t have enough time. Maybe she saw our disappointment because she then said that we could walk over to the temple ruins for 10 minutes and then come back. Most of the ruins are more ruble than anything else. The temple we walked over to has several columns standing so that is the most intact structure on the grounds. Even with our 10 minute allotment I felt like we saw what there was to see outside of the museum which also sounded sparse.
So it was 2:30 and our bus back to New Corinth didn’t come until 5:30. We headed into the tiny town to see how we could kill several hours. I realized we have become very good at simply killing time. We looked at some menus of restaurants. We wandered into a gift store. And then we saw a many pull up with a small white pick-up truck with the bed full of freshly picked apples. I thought it would be nice to select a few so we chose 2 of each of his 2 varieties. When we tried to pay him he said he would not accept anything for only this small amount that he only charged 5 euro for a whole bag of apples. I thought that was so nice of him.
Then we decided to eat. The restaurant we went into gave us a menu but when we tried to order things off it the items we requested they did not have. So then he pointed specifically to what they did have and we ordered Spanikopita and grape leaves stuffed with rice. Both of them were fine, but other than the fact the were warm I didn’t think the stuffed grapes leaves were any better than the canned ones we’d been eating. After we finished our food the waiter gave us a plate piled with mandarin oranges. We saw on our many bus rides lots of citrus fruit trees and I’m assuming the restaurant grew them because they were giving the few tables of customers in there a plate full of them. You know Ryan and I, we hate to be rude, so we finished off every last one of those suckers. ☺ And then since we wanted to kill some more time still we ordered Greek yogurt with honey since the Greek yogurt at the winery had been so good. And this did not disappoint. They even threw a few pomegranate seeds on top. I am wondering if you can get this yogurt in the States because it is so good. Of course it does not follow my no animal product diet, but we all know I fudge a little when it comes to dessert.
Eventually we paid our bill (which was way more than I expected or thought worth the quality of food or service) but when we left it was nice that he dumped another pile of oranges on our table for us to take with us saying that he had more than he knew what to do with.
From the restaurant we walked up to a church that we didn’t know anything about, but figured it was in Corinth so we’d snap a photo and walk around the building. On a pillar out front they had verses from 1 Corinthians about faith, hope, and love, but the greatest is love. I do think the style of the church buildings in Greece is very beautiful and definitely different than the enormous cathedrals we have seen throughout most of our travels.
From there we headed back to the bus stop to wait for the bus. While we waited we read together from 2 Corinthians. We’d started and finished 1 Corinthians already. We just thought it was only appropriate to spend time in God’s word in a place St. Paul obviously had a place in his heart for since he spent so much time here and wrote some very powerful letters to. It is interesting though that in his letters he was calling out the Corinthians on their sexual immorality. There was a large hill behind the town that you could hike up but we one did not have time for and two just didn’t feel up to the climb. But at the top beyond an excellent view was the Temple of Aphrodite (the goddess of love) and this is where the Corinthians would go to for the prostitutes that lived in the temple. And then while we were sitting at our meal in the restaurant the waiter and his uncle I think sat down to have dinner with a couple of Asian tourists that came in after us and he started saying that he was going to marry one of them and she was saying no and he started talking about how they had to eat this big meal to have strength for that night… Ryan and I were sort of just wide eyed and didn’t quite know what to say to all that. But the thought crossed through my mind how much this attitude sounded like the Corinthians of so many, many years previous that Paul was preaching to.
Our bus came, but it did not take us back to the New Corinth bus station it just stopped in the center of town. But thankful it wasn’t too far of a walk and our bus driver gave us good instructions on how to get to the station. Right on the corner of where he dropped us though was a stand with a woman making Greek donuts. I’ve had these before at the Greek fest in Bellingham and when one of our Greek co-workers in Housekeeping made them. They are shaped like balls and then they smother them with honey and cinnamon. Oh they are soooooo good. ☺ So of course we stopped and bought some for strength to get us back to the station. We arrived without incident at the bus station and had 20 minutes to wait for the next bus to Athens which passed quickly. And then 1.5 hours back to the city.
We were very glad when the bus stopped in the city right by a metro that we were able to hop off at. I did not want to go all the way back to the terminal to take another bus and then the metro. So it didn’t take much longer to get back to the hostel. Ryan and I are just not night people. We got to our room and were done for the night. I realized I smelled bad because I forgot deodorant (not sure why I’m including that but I just did so lucky readers) so I went to take a shower. Then I just sat in my bed working on blogging and I’m not even sure what Ryan was doing….. maybe he fell asleep even before I put my computer down. But we were both sound asleep pretty early. Even though it turned into being more traveling than we thought it would be we were both glad that we went to Corinth. There is just something special about being in the places that we have read about in our Bibles for such a long time. Sometimes it helps the words on the page come to life just a little bit more.

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