Forgotten all but for Homer

Trip Start May 22, 2009
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Trip End Feb 16, 2010


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Flag of Greece  ,
Sunday, November 22, 2009

Decided to take a break day and hang out along the beach.  Merely 100m from our campground was a lovely rocky shoreline,  But taking a look around, I saw ruins up on some hills beside the beach.  We had unknowingly stumbled into Ancient Asine.  A tiny little place, all but forgotten except for one tiny line in Homer’s Iliad mentioning them as participating in the Trojan War. 

Historically, the town was destroyed in 740BC when they joined in the war against the Spartans.  Neighboring Argos didn’t like that too much and destroyed the city leaving the residents to disperse.  

Not completely abandoned until now, there is evidence of Roman occupation with the addition of baths, and Italian War troops stationed machine guns on the hillside during WWII.  But still!  740BC, and here it is on a hillside waiting for us to climb around it. 

This amazing rock structure towers over the water.  As if the rock was pushed up and up and erupted forth by some unseen plunger below.  Then just begged you to climb them!

Hiking up and around we followed ancient narrow roadways and up old footing of grand staircases to find what remains of buildings erected in the Hellenistic period. 

Only really discovered and excavated during the 1920’s and 30’s, they did find some things buried in old tombs.  But the rest of the site had been left to ruin.  Covered over with weeds, at first look at the landscape you would think it’s just hilly terrain, but on closer inspection  you find all sorts of building footings.  Up on the rocks, what’s left of the buildings are easier to see since there isn’t as much growth.  A little sad, as many remains have been defaced by modern graffiti, but we spend our time trying to imagine what it used to look like. 

Brian was in his hey-day climbing over rocks, jumping into holes, poking here and there - always wanting to get to the ‘next’ ruin.  He spent a considerable amount of time mucking about in the water of the shore just below the ruins hoping to find something.  His day was not wasted either.  He found a pen belonging to an archaeologist (his name was engraved on it), and a living ancients monument:  a tortoise!

For the late afternoon, we clambered up to the top of the rocks for a commanding view of the surrounding water and watched the sun set while drinking really bad Retsina.  Interesting enough to try, but has quite a kick.  Not recommended for climbing down the rocks in the dark…

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