Corinth Canal

It was September and the weather was changing. The wind came up and we didn’t mind that so much.


But it got cooler and going for a swim was a chillier event. The tourists were leaving, so we thought maybe it was time for us to think about hitting the road too.

We drove north and east taking a side trip to Epidaurus to see the great amphitheater there. Click here to see the post on Epidaurus.

At Corinth, northern Greece and the Peloponnesus were once joined by a narrow strip of land. Now several bridges spanning the Corinth Canal connect the north and south of Greece. On the highway heading towards Athens, we stopped on the northern side of the bridge to take a picture of the famous Corinth Canal. Completed in 1893, it is about four miles long and 70 feet wide at the base. After all the effort to build it, the canal is still only good for small boat traffic.


We are looking eastwards into the Saronic Gulf, near the southwest of the Aegian Sea.

Since we wanted to stop to take a photo, it was a good time to pull in to the little coffee shop at the northern side of the bridge. The place looked neglected and didn’t appear to see many customers in spite of the perfect location, but we didn’t care. We were tired and needed a break from driving. A cup of coffee would hit the spot.

I didn’t expect to find American style coffee, but I would even have welcomed a cup of Greek espresso  with the sweet fine coffee grounds settled in the bottom of those tiny cups. Nothing so fancy. Our coffee came in plastic cups filled with hottish water and a little packet of Nescafe instant coffee on the side. Sugar was available (which I don’t take because I’m sweet enough), but no milk or cream. Our extreme disappointment made this java stop memorable even after 36 years. How many cups of coffee do you remember years later?

But the most shocking part of the stop was when we left the coffee shop and tried to get a look at the canal close up. I walked as close as I dared to the edge of the canal and then realized that there was no barricade or fence or signs of any kind, warning of the drop-off that had to be at least a couple of hundred feet, probably more. The ground was quite drivable and anyone could have taken a wrong turn from the parking lot at night and gone over the edge. Dogs or children running around could easily go over.

I don’t know if there is a fence along the top of the canal nowadays, but at the time there was nothing to prevent accidents. I still shudder to think of it.

26 thoughts on “Corinth Canal

  1. I lived in Drama 1977 – 1979. At least the northern Greeks take the attitude that it is the individual’s responsibility to keep safe, not a duty of government to keep you from doing stupid stuff like driving off a cliff.
    I like seeing your vacation pictures. Thanks


    • I didn’t even know there was such a place. I’ve looked it up. Looks interesting. A much bigger place than Kardamyli. I would agree with the Greeks’ attitude in the case of adults being responsible for themselves, but there are all the innocents that could get hurt – children and pets. Glad you’re enjoying the trip. We’re about to leave Greece now for other adventures.


  2. That lack of barrier is just CRAZY. Seriously crazy.

    Love your quality pictures, as usual. And pulling into little coffee spots is SO my kinda thing. Enjoyed this, Anneli. You write very well.


  3. My Dad used to hold the opinion that a restaurant was OK if it served a really good cup of coffee. That place would not have passed the test. You have a good sense of humor to remember that coffee for that long.


  4. I remember one cup of coffee (not that I drink a lot of it) but a friend and I were travelling down to Cape Town from almost the North of SA a trip of 1400 km… we stopped in the middle of the night to get a cuppa… it had obviously stood over in the pot from the evening as it was so strong and thick a teaspoon almost was held upright in it… with enough sugar (we aren’t as sweet as you) we managed to drink it… but felt as though our eyes were extending from our heads we had so much of a caffeine kick… love the photos and the tour as usual…


  5. I wouldn´t even go near to this canal (with or without a fence). But I enjoyed your picture a lot! While reading about your adventure
    about the “coffee”, I had myself a good cup of it. I am looking forward to your next adventure.


    • Yes, they are my pictures. I had a 35 mm camera at the time but I had them all made into slides and now I’m converting them because the dust and moisture is beginning to ruin them. Thanks for your kind comment.


  6. I was thinking how interesting your picture is, with the canal stretching off into nothingness… until I read the part about the lack of barriers, and then that oblivion got scary!


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