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.