Tuesday, July 26. Nafplio; Theatre of Epidavros; Hydra. After checking out of our hotel, the nicest one yet—a one bedroom suite with kitchen for 60 euro including breakfast—we drove up to the Palamidi Fortress for a commanding view of Nafplio below. Our next destination was the island of Hydra. We stopped at the Theatre of Epidavros along the way. Epidavros is the sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of medicine, and a World Heritage site. The third century theatre here is one of the best preserved classical Greek buildings with amazing acoustics. Built of limestone, the theatre is still in use today and can seat up to 14,000 people. We tested the acoustics by dropping a coin in the center of the stage. It could be heard from the top rows.
We drove to Ermioni to catch a boat to Hydra (ee-drah) on the Saronic Gulf. Hydra town is built around a small natural harbor. One of the biggest attractions of Hydra is the lack of automobiles and motorbikes. Donkeys are used as the main mode of transportation. The waterfront cafes and bars were filled with people enjoying a meal or drink. We sat down and joined them at the Pirate Bar for a Mythos, the Budweiser of Greece.
Wednesday, July 27. Hydra, Greece. We spent the day wandering Hydra Town and hiked out to a nearby beach. Hydra's beaches are few and consist of large pebbles—no white sandy beaches here. There were few Americans. Most tourists were either Greek or Italian. Many come from Athens, only a three hour ferry ride away.