Last night, we decided that today we were going to get up early and hike the Palimidi fortress!
But then morning happened. We slept in until about 9:30, and then finally got up, got ready, and went down for breakfast at the hotel.
We had missed the 85 degree weather of the morning, and by the time we finished breakfast, it was already in the mid-90s. With a high of 102 today, the fortress felt a little daunting. But we decided to give it a try, and to make it a bit easier, instead of walking up the 999 steps (really 913, but who’s counting?) to reach the fortress, we took a cab.
A quick 15 minute ride later, and we were at the base of the fortress looking up at the impressive stone walls. Our cab driver offered to wait 30 minutes and take us back down the mountain, but knowing that we would want more time to explore, we opted out of that offer. I’m glad that we did because even given the heat, we spent a couple of hours walking around the fortress.
The Palimidi fortress was built by the Venetians in 1714, and due to wars and politics, mutiple “tenants” claimed ownership over the past 300 years. The fortress is very open and is sprawled out over the entire mountaintop. It is not as complete or put together as some of the castles or fortresses we’ve seen, but the openness and vast expanse of everything makes the Palimidi a great place to explore.
We climbed up old stairways and scaled rocky hills, we went down steps with no guardrails while gazing at the sea 1000 feet below, we ducked into old jail cells and towers, and stumbled upon pottery fragments and cannonballs. There were hardly any people at the fortress, so we pretty much got to explore freely without having to worry about crowds or tour groups. I loved it.
Eventually, we made our way to the stairs and climbed down the 913 steps while taking frequent breaks in the shade. By the time we reached the bottom, our legs were shaky. But we did it!
After a shower and snack at the hotel, Shelby took a brief nap and we headed out to dinner in the late evening. We stopped at a nearby restaurant and had a really nice meal. We ordered a cucumber and tomato salad (which also came with green peppers, onions, olives, and capers), stuffed grape leaves, fried cheese in tomato sauce, and souvlaki with cabbage and fries. We’ve really taken to Greek dining–the Greeks eat a little late for us (they start dinner around 9-10pm, and we prefer 8 or so), but the Greek way of ordering multiple small dishes and sharing everything is a concept that we love. It’s so nice to have salad and a few small dishes that have fresh ingredients and (mostly) healthy food. Everything we ate was fantastic, and we were also served an aperitif of mastic liquor, on the house.
After dinner we wandered around the town, stopping for some loukoumades real quick, before heading to the water. The water was gorgeous at night with the city lights reflecting off the water and the Bourtzi fortress illuminated. We’ve really enjoyed our time here in Nafplio, and are a little sad that we only have one more day here.