Karytaina Castle

An account of Karytaina Castle.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest in my series of posts about my holiday in Greece (May 12th to 19th). After the last post in which I gave the animals their due we resume our coverage of the Friday, having dealt with Dimitsana

ON FROM DIMITSANA

Those of you who read my first post about Dimitsana will recall that my mother was not well that day, necessitating changes to our plans, including an abandonment of our plans for lunch. Thus we decided that my father and I would make do with what we could find in Karytaina town, and we would stop on the way back to buy some good food for supper.  Here are some introductory pictures:

Distant view of Karytaina Castle
A distant shot of Karytaina Castle taken while travelling.
Karytaina Castle from below I
Two shots taken looking up at the castle from the town.

Karytaina Castle from below II

Karytaina map
A couple of public maps of the area.

Karytaina map IIHeroesStatue in Karytaina

My father and I did locate a place in the town serving food, but the sole merit of the meal was cheapness – neither the ham & cheese toastie nor the drink had any flavour at all. Having had lunch it was time for the ascent to the castle.

WATCHING TWO RIVERS

Karytaina Castle was built by the Franks in the 13th century, and its location was chosen because it commands a direct view of two rivers, the Lousios and the Alpheios, both of which flow all year round (most rivers in Greece do not). The ascent from the town to the castle is quite steep, although the path is fairly well maintained, so it is not unduly difficult. 

ruins at KarytainaKarytaina Castle info boardMemorialDefencesStatue flanked by cannons

Karytaina town
The town as viewed from the castle.

Karytaina castle enhancementruins, Karytaina castleruins, Karytaina castle IIruins, Karytaina castle IIIsnail shellArches, Karytaina castleKarytaina castle outbuildingsruins, Karytaina castle IVenhancements

THE TWO RIVERS

I finish with some pictures of the two rivers the castle overlooks (mainly the Lousios, but I did get one shot of the Alpheios as well):

Lousios bridges I
This has been a recognised crossing point of the Lousios for hundreds of years.

Lousious bridges II

Alfios
The Alpheios.

Lousios bridges IIILousios bridges IVThe crossing of the LousiosLousios crossingsLousios bridges VI

The Lousios valley
The Lousios valley

 

Greek Wildlife

Some of the creatures I observed in the course of my holiday in Greece.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my holiday in Greece (12th to 19th May). This one is an almost purely pictorial post showing some of the plant and animal life that I encountered there.

THE FLORA AND FAUNA I CAPTURED

Lizard I
This little green lizard was the only such creature I amanged to capture on camera, but I also saw a larger yellow/brown lizard at Methoni, although it made itself scarce before I could photograph it.

Lizard IICleopatraLizard IIIButterfly (1)Butterfly IIButterfly - folded wingsButterfly on spiky plantFish in rockpoolred beetleOrange ButterflyGiant green beetleYellow butterflyHopping insectHouse Martin nestsAdult House Martin visits one of the nests

Three cats at the noms plate
We had decided that we would put out cat food, but no treats, so the cats who visited were genuinely hungry..

Orange butterflyLizardYellow and green butterflyButterflygreen butterfly

dark butterfly
This picture and the next demonstrate that not all the butterflies in Greece are brightly coloured.

stony butterflylong legged insectbugmulticoloured beetlemulti-coloured beetle IIOrange catOld terracingFish in rockpool IIFishOrange bitterfly IIOrange butterfly IIIOrange Butterfly IVOrange butterfly VOrange butterfly VIGrasshopper IIHouse Martin visits the nests

Mountain snail
I saw this mountain snail during the ascent to Karytaina Castle, on the Friday, after the visit to Dimitsana.
arachnid
I could not identify this one with any confidence, although the shape suggests an arachnid of some sort rather than an insect.
Beetle
The size and shape of tbhis creature and the apparent solidity of its carapace suggested a large beetle, although such creatures do not usually display their wings when on the ground.

During one of the walks I saw a tiny snake which concealed itself very quickly, and I missed many other intended shots, but I think I got a fair selection!

The Tannery Section of the Dimitsana Museum

The tannery at the open-air museum fo water power in Dimitsana.

INTRODUCTION

In my previous post in this series about my week in Greece (May 12th to 19th) I wrote about the Open-air Museum of Water Power at Dimitsana, and stated that I was going give the tannery a whole post to itself, and here it is.

THE TANNERY

As well as containing everything used in pre-industrial leather making this section features a short video detailing the process in its entirety. To get from a batch of skins to leather from which stuff could be made would take a couple of months. 

tubstubs IItubs IIItubs VTanneriesSofteningSkinsLeather history818splittingsplitting bowlcornerFleshingWashingwooden boards826827Tanning stages 5,6 and 7protoleathertreatment vesselsstirring vesselsstirrer and nearly ready leatherNearly ready leatherfleshing toolsdeliming info boardTanning stages info boards3rd and 4th tanning stages info boardFinal panels and video screenTannery

This is the centrepiece of a fascinating museum. The tannery is the second-furthest part of the museum from the entrance, with the gunpowder mill directly below it. 

Greece 2018: Friday 1: Dimitsana

An account of the opn-air museum of water power in Dimitsana (apart from the tannery, which I am giving a post to itself).

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my latest post about my holiday in Greece (12th – 19th May). We are now dealing with the Friday, the centrepiece of which was to be a visit to the Open-air Water Power Museum at Dimitsana and a meal at a restaurant that serves meat from wild animals shot by the proprietor. This post deals with the Dimitsana section of the day apart from the tannery which I shall give a post to itself.

BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN

For Thursday night’s supper we had eaten pork chops, and my mother had failed to finish hers. This it turned out was the first warning of a stomach problem that would lead to a serious alteration of our plans for the day. Although she felt well enough to make the journey by about 10 o’clock, the restaurant meal was out of the question. 

THE JOURNEY TO DIMITSANA

The journey from Tseria to Dimitsana is somewhat over two hours in duration. It involves quite a lot of scenic stuff but also one truly abominable eyesore, modern Megalopolis (to give you an idea of the sheer visual awfulness of the place its most prominent features are a pair of giant cooling towers). Little remains of the original city – some pillars from the theatre is about all one can actually see. 

New bridgeremains of ancient Megalopolis

Monastaries overlooking the Lousios Gorge
This monastery is actually modern and Russian funded, but there are also some much older monasteries in the area.

THE OPEN AIR WATER POWER MUSEUM

Dimitsana is a mountainside town, which means that going round the open-air museum involves going downhill and then back up at the end. The water was running more vigorously than it had been on my previous visit – perhaps because it was earlier in the year.

Water power museum mapEnergy and Water PowerWater poweredinstallations in the Dimitsana areaMill wheelFulling tub info boardFulling tubConstructing and working the fulling tubFulling tub IIFood and weaving766767raging waterCosntructing the millFluting the millstonesThe Water MillToolsMill MachineryRaging water IIFireplace776videoPostal HistoryTemple and mountainsMegalopolis TheatreArcadiawhite waterMillraceRiverbridgewhite water IIWhite water IIIpeepholewater power in actionWhite water IVWhite water VRaki still info boardRaki Stillstone with holes inRaki still IIdual watercoursedual watercourse IIView from the bridgeWaterfallsMillstones

Gunpowder press
Most of the gunpowder the the Greeks used in their war of independence in the early 19th century was manufactured in Dimitsana.

Gunpowder Mill IGunpowder productionEastern medThe Siege of the AcropolisGunpowder machinegunpowderMachinery picturegunpowder sifting equipmentGunpowder mill and saltpetre info boardsMachinery pic II

The path beyond the museum
I do not know where this path ultimately leads, but there is a sign warning that you follow it at your own risk.

Looking up from the gunpowder millabove the gunpowder millchutewaterfalls IIriverWaterfalls IIIAndritsasina 1834The Alpheios near KarytainaBridge over the LousiosThe Alpheios

Mountain village
This is a classic view of a Greek mountainside village.

Piscina and iron wheelMuseum locations

This museum is well worth a visit, and we were there on Museum Day, meaning that admission was free.

Greece: Kardamili, Stoupa, Agios Nikolaos and Trachila

Continuing my account of my holiday in Greece.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next post in my somewhat spread out series about my holiday in Greece. This post follows on from my post about Nestor’s Palace, in which you can find links to all my previous posts about this holiday. Unlike my previous posts in this series this one covers events from two different days, the Monday and the Thursday. 

MONDAY: KARDAMILI AND TRACHILA

There were a few things to be done in Kardamili, including finding some sandals for me, and we decided havuing finished there to make the journey to Trachila, which is at the end of one of the roads beyond the resort town of Stoupa (the other, the main road, goes up into the mountains to Areopoli and then on into the inner Mani and down to very southern tip of mainland Greece). This was a pretty journey, and Trachila itself is very pleasant. 

Map
This map is part of the decoration of the shop from which my sandals came.

Discvover the spirit of the ManiSouvenir shop displayPharmacy postercertificate at the pharmacyThe seaFish in the seaFish in the sea - close upSeaside settlement

The path to the edge of the sea
This is how I was able to get so close to the sea.

Near the seawall fragments

The sea at Stoupa
The sea at Stoupa
lights, Akrouali
On our way back we stopped at Akrouali’s in Stoupa for lunch – these lights were close to our table.

THURSDAY: STOUPA & AGIOS NIKOLAOS

On Thursday morning my mother was going to Stoupa for a “Stitch ‘n’ Bitch” session at Patriko’s, while I made use of their internet connection. Then we were going to walk along the sea-front to the village of Agios Nikolaos, have a light lunch at an establishment there that my parents knew, and then walk back to Stoupa before heading back to Tseria. This was deliberately a day on which we did not go on any major journeys as major excursions were happening on Wednesday and Friday.

sparrow, Patriko'sgrasshopper on the path to Agios NikolaosGuided walks Agios Nikolaos

Natural Window
A natural window in the rocks, between Stoupa and Agios Nikolaos
Painted stone, Greg's, Agios Nikolaos
A painted stone used as a table decoration at the place where we had lunch.

placemap, Greg'sPlacemap, Greg's II

House Martin nests, Ag Nikolaos
Two shots of house martin nests in Agios Nikolaos

House Martin nests, Ag Nikolaos II

House Martin visits the nests
A shot of a house martin visiting the nest to deliver food to chicks concealed within.
Hill with Frankish fortifications
Not much remains of the 13th century Frankish castle which stood on this flat topped hill.

Hill with Frankish fortifications II

Greece 2018: Nestor’s Palace

An account of Nestor’s palace at Pylos.

INTRODUCTION

Through a combination of work commitments and still having large numbers of photos to edit it has been a while since I posted, so just to remind people I was in Greece from May 12th to May 19th, and have so far produced five posts relating to that holiday:

  1. Aperiftif – setting the scene for subseqent posts going into more detail about the holiday and various aspects thereof.
  2. Days 1-2 – covering the start of the holiday
  3. The Journey to Methoni – covering the start of the first of the two major excursions.
  4. Methoni Castle – covering the castle other than the Bourzti of Methoni.
  5. The Bourtzi of Methoni – covering the Bourtzi.

A VERY ANCIENT SITE

Whereas nothing at Methoni is above 800 years old, and most of it is around half that age (making it a youngster in terms of Greek sites) Nestor’s Palace at Pylos (about 15 kilometres from the modern town of that name) was in its pomp 3,300 years ago or thereabouts, which means that even by Greek standards it counts as old (although Gortyn on the island of Crete is about twice as old as even this). In an effort to preserve these remains a shelter has been built around the site, and part of this structure is a raised walkway from which visitors view the site – no walking round at ground level these days.

roof and walkways

NESTOR’S PALACE IN PICTURES

It is now time for the combination of my camera and photo-editing skills to take over and give you a virtual tour of Nestor’s Palace…

Information, Nestor's Palace
There is lots of informatrion about the palace and the kingdom it was a part of.

The Kingdom of PylosThe Perfumed Oil IndustryThe White GoddessThe search for the Mycenaean KingdomThe new face of NestorThe well-built citadel of NeleusThe Palace of NestorReconstruction of Nestor's PalacePropylonLooking at Nestor's PalaceMinor roomsstonework, PylosThe Archives of the PalaceCourtColumn support bases and remains of the court wallThe MegaronNature, History, Culture in perfect harmonyside roomsThe back of Nestor's palace and beyondSouthwestern building, Palace of NeleusPantries info boardPantriesThrone room info boardThrone roomThrone pedestalThrone pedestal IIThrone pedestal IIIThrone room wallOuter limits of palaceraised walkway and frameworkThrone room IIstoneworkextremities of the palaceroof structureOlive Oil stiorage roomsOlive oil storerooms remainsstaircaseremainsNestor's bathNestor's bath and queen's throne room

detail from Nestor's bath
some detail from the inside facing of Nestor’s bath.

side of palaceNestor's bath info boardunsheltered remainsNortheastern buildingBeyond the shelterThe Queen's megaronThe queen's throne roomsmall roomLooking out of the palaceThe queen's thronewallsThe bathroombath decorationdisabled access at Nestor's palacepropylon671

Sea view from Nestor's palace IV
The first of several sea views I captured from Nestor’s palace.

SEA VIEWS FROM THE PALACE

Here are my remaining sea views from the palace itself…

sea view from Nestor's palace IISea view from Nestor's palace IIISea view from Nestor's palace

Methoni Castle 1: The Main Castle

A photographic of the main part of Methoni Castle, setting the scene for the Bourtzi of Methoni, the subject of the my next post in this series.

INTRODUCTION

Followijng on from my last post which described the journey to Methoni this post covers the main castle, while my next post will deal with the Bourtzi of Methoni. 

A VENETIAN MASTERPIECE

Methoni castle was first built by the Venetians in the 13th century, and then massively expanded when the retook possession of it from the Turks in the late 17th century. Here is some official information:

Restoration of Methoni CastleMehtoni Castle PicturesMethoni Castle Info BoardWalls of Methoni information board

Here is the approach to the Castle:

Sea view at Methoni
Looking towards the sea as one approaches the castle
The approach to the castle
The bridge across the moat
The gateway to the castle
The gateway to the castle
Me at the gateway to Methoni Castle
Those who have read my preliminary post to this series have already seen this picture once, and it is of the course the origin of my current profile picture.

Cannon

Here are some pictures from inside the castle…

Inside the castleWalls from the insideWall sectionPiazza d'armi information boardColumnColumn IITurkish buildingsrear gatePyramidChapelTurkish buildings IITurkish buildings IIIstone blocksSea viewSmall yachtRood screendecorated chair

Hammam roofs
This castle was first built in the 13th century during the first expansion of Venetian power, then the Turks took over until 1685, when the Venetians retook the place and held it for thirty years, before the Turks took it back again and held it until Greece gained its independence in 1821. This building is very obviously an old Hammam (a Turkish bath house)

TowerTowersSea Gaterestored archesInfo boardClose up of castle map

Braille info board
A braille information board.

Sea view IISea view IIISea view IVStone shieldWalls and seaLooking out at the seaSea View VWall section IIWell

Caper plant
A caper plant growing in the castle grounds.

Towards the BourtziBridge to the Bourtzi

Gateway to the Bourtzi
The entrance to the Bourtzi of Methoni, the subject of the next post in this series.