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Neapoli to Monemvasia
My plans seem to keep altering without any overall plan. Yet I’d had no big changes for four days or so. But that was about to change. I was now waiting to leave Monemvasia and have an hour till the bus leaves. I’d just read an email from my friend Atanas in Sydney wondering if I like to visit the people organizing an animation festival in Athens. I’d had a feeling that I was not done with Athens so I’m altering plans again and I’m back to the Big A.  In Neapoli I’d stayed with a most cuddly bunch of folks you could hope to meet. I met them on the site at Mycenae and was amazed to see that they had some truly incredible caves in their back yard. These sites of habitation have nevre been dated but they have the feel that people have been there since people were around in Europe. Just down from their house their were a series of graves that were either Neolithic or Spartan once again they have not been dated or even really had serious study devoted to them. Have a look at the Neopoli movie and try and figure what kind of series of renovations these caves had been through. (this might take a couple more days to upload)
I arrived here in Monemvasia with way too much piror build up. Many dramatic descriptions had flew through the pages of guide books or the lips of people you meet. I’d imagioned a suspended bridge hundreds of feet up in the air and donkey transporting travellers bags across to the rock on which the castle and the old town had been built. Expectations are one of the most difficult of obstacles you have to negotiate. I wish I’d never heard a word about this place them maybe I would not have reacted so blankly to the hard attitude to tourist I encountered. I’d heard it’s way better to stay in the old town. So I loaded my bags onto the shuttle bus (no donkeys) and got driven way too fast across the bridge and up tp the gate. It was really nice but there was absolutely nowhere to buy any sort of food apart from crisps and chocolate bars. I’d heard you could barter for a good hotel deal but every hotel, and I went to six or seven, said the same price and negotiation was not to be considered. Not so bad but dinner was kind of weird as one of the partners in the small restaurant kept watching me and her partner served me a tiny portion and when the bill came I noted that the bread was an item. Yes I’m nit picking but I was waiting for some friendly smile or jocular aside or glance. Not a friendly smile in sight anywhere. This is what happens to really pretty places that become a symbol of a great destination. The people begin to believe the hype and their place in travel legend and their right to gleen as much as is humanly possible. Monemvasia is a real gem, no doubt about it but you know I’m writing this from the new town sitting in a bar that is run by two brothers who made it clear it was no problem if I left my bag here. They smile easily and they sprook for customers by talking to anyone who walks by. Sure it optimistic and  somewhat annoying but they have energy for people contact. The old town had become hard and non communicative.
My tip for anyone arriving here is to stay on the mainland and visit the old town.