Further Incidents of Travel (Athens to Sikion)

The Search for the Forgotten Pyramids of Greece
with Folly and Bravado

With the expedition vehicle kindly delivered to our hotel, we were ready to begin our search in earnest. It took a mile or so to get accustomed the Athens traffic, forget indicating and so forth, it only confuses everyone. Just pick the spot where you want to be and then go for it with real speed and intent and somehow it all seems to work out fine. Amusingly though, the inevitable happened and we ended up stuck behind some Germans towing a caravan.
Passing through Corinth and over its impressive canal, we were heading for a place called Sikion, a few miles inland on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. It's a relatively minor archaeological site in this land of plenty but after having to share most of our previous pyramid experiences with bus loads of day trippers, it was nice to have the place to ourselves. We wandered through the various remains, a Roman gymnasium, a Greek theatre and a temple or two with only the dog that had scampered up to us on our arrival for company.
It took a while to locate what we were looking for amongst all of this antiquity but it was unmistakable once we'd found it. Despite all the vegetation that grows in, on and around it, the construction and stonework is so markedly different, it sets itself apart from all else. We followed around its perimeter and checked it from every aspect but no matter which way we looked at it, this was definitely not the pyramid some claim it to be. Certainly, it had distinct corners remaining but the walls were clearly vertical and strangely curved at that.
But we weren't that disappointed, it's as important to our project to rule out those that aren't as it is to establish those which are. And that stonework struck a chord with both of us, very similar to that of the temple next to the Sphinx in Egypt. Unlike the later Roman and Greek styles, it is non-rectangular and more like a jigsaw puzzle of interlocking irregular shapes. Being at the top of hill, we concluded that this structure was most likely part of some ancient fortification that predated all of the other remains at this site.
From Sikion we headed to Nafplio on the south coast and it was a marvellous drive through the mountainous terrain that is so characteristic of the Peloponese. High peaks silhouette one and other, many capped with either the castles of the multitude of armies that have occupied this land or ironically, the monasteries of those that seek isolation from the troubles of this world. In time for the setting sun we pulled into this beautiful town, it's streets lined with restaurants and bars and dominated by the Venetian fortress that towers high above it on the cliffs. After the indistinct cosmopolitan nature of Athens, sitting by the shimmering Aegean and sipping a cloudy Ouzo, it at last began to feel like we were really in Greece.