Chelmoutsi Castle and Kotichiou lagoon.

 
 We have now moved campsite again to Glifa and Camping Ionion beach a superb ACSI site with a wonderful swimming pool and lovely flowers.



 
On route to Chelmoutsi castle we decide to go to Kotichiou lagoon for a bit of bird spotting.
We drove down what really was not a road but a farm track complete with tractors whose drivers  looked at us with some disbelief.
We did however catch a Little owl in full sunlight, I don't know who was the most surprised.
 
 
Around the lagoon, any guesses ?
 

 
In the distance from the bird hide a group of Flamingo's an a few Pelicans.
 
 
Chelmoutsi castle.
1219 to 1223 AD
 
 
 
The most famous Frankish castle in Greece.
Its other name is Casteltornesi after a coin that was minted here.
 
 
The hexhagonal keep has huge vaulted halls.
 

 
Some of which have been restored like this curved section.
 

 
This is one that needs a little bit of work yet.
 






Temple of Apollo, Bassae

 
Our visit today is the Temple of Apollo (Bassae) a 5th c BC site.
 

 
The temple is under a canvas cover for major restoration work.
 
 
The columns have become unstable and are being lifted onto concrete platforms whilst new bases are being laid. They are lifted in one piece by a special crane and cage.
 

And then reset into their original position on new marble bases.
 

 
The finished job is looking really good, it will be nice to visit again in a few years.
 
 
The Nedas gorge runs through the area and led us to the Temple of Athena.
 
 
 
 
Doric Temple of Athena 5th c BC at Ancient Figaleia.
 

 
 Built by the same people as the Temple of Apollo which was commissioned by them as thanks to the Gods for surviving the Plague.
 

 
Another random bug. I just love them.
 


 
Anddritsena
A beautiful mountain village.
 



Lousios Gorge

One of our long distance sightseeing trips on the scooter today took us around the Lousios gorge.
This gorge at its deepest point is 300 meters deep and 5 km long and is one of the most impressive in Greece. It is scattered with Monasteries hanging precariously from cliff faces and perched on rocky pinnacles.
 


 
Distant shot of Moni Agiou Ioannou Prodromou monastery.
 
 
Lovely lanes taken over by the broom bushes, luckily not wide enough for tourist coaches.
In fact we hardly met any vehicles all day . Great !
 


 
Monastery Filosofou.
 


 
Aimyalon monastery.
 
 
Dimitsana village.
 

 
Karytaina castle.
 

 
Another great day out if a little saddle sore afterwards.
Also had our first rain shower on our way back.


Olympia

And so to the seat of the Original Olympic games, Ancient Olympia, where the Olympic flame still starts its journey every four years.
As seen below, alas Sarah had no torch to light.
The Temple of Hera is in the background.
 
 
As we were late arriving and being the weekend we decided to give the hoards time to settle and visit the Museum of the Olympic games first.
This museum charts the ancient history of the games from 776 BC.
All the items on show give a unique insight into type of events and also the equipment used by the contestants. A very interesting museum. We were amazed at the size and weight of the armour and shields that were used in the armed running event especially as even in those days the games took place in August .
 
 
Originally women were not even allowed to spectate at the games but later they introduced one running event and this figurine shows their attire.( The men competed Naked)
 

 
Some of the original Laurels.
 

 
This bronze shield was three feet across.
 
 
The archaeological site was next. The crowds had thinned as we wandered through the past.
The site is vast and covers not only the games but was also a religious, political and  administrative centre for over a thousand years.
Because of this there are examples of temples from the 7th c BC up to the Roman period.
The oldest is the temple of Hera and it is close to where the Olympic flame is lit.
The grandest is the temple of Zeus from the 5thc BC.
 
 
The circular temple was commissioned by Phillip 11nd of Macedon.
 
 
Surrounding these two are the training areas and accommodation for the athletes and guests.
There is also of course the stadium.
 



 
We ended our visit in the Arce logical museum which houses artefacts from prehistoric to Roman times. This is a well laid out Museum with a mass of artefacts from the site with amazing statuary and votive figures.
 



 
Huge bronze figurines and plaques including winged Nike
 

 
This bronze shield and helmet give you some idea of size.
 

 
This is a terracotta figure of Zeus which is unusual as he is portrayed in a very caring  human form.
 
 
These are statuary from the frieze on the temple of Zeus.
 




 
Statue of Hermes carrying the infant Dionysos
 
 
Regilla wife of Herodius Atticus
 
 
 
 This whole site is well worth a visit.