|By: Paul S. Cilwa||Viewed: 8/20/2019
Occurred: 12/12/1999 1:00:00 PM
|Topics/Keywords: #Travel #Patris #Greece||Page Views: 1403|
|Paul and Michael's visit to Patris, Greece, 1999|
December 12, 1999 (afternoon)
For some reason, Michael had insisted on going to Patris as soon as he heard its name. He had been quite disappointed when the ferry from Italy was unable to drop us off there. So, there was no way we were not going to Patris to catch the return ferry to Italy.
The train ride from Athens was several hours but largely uneventful. As we approached Patris, however, one mountain rose and became quite dominant over the landscape.
That mountain wound up being right across the bay from Patris, itself, so that it was visible from almost every part of the city. We had arrived hours before time to board the ferry, so we spent the extra time exploring.
Just as I had "remembered" some kind of past-life connection to the Acropolis in Athens, Michael was certain he had lived, once, in Patris. He was certain, moreover, that ruins remained of where he had lived. However, everyone we asked, even people in Patris, insisted there were no ruins there. "Patris? It's just a seaport." Nevertheless, Michael was sure there would be ruins on a hill. So, when we started exploring, we discovered that Patris had an acropolis, too; and we hastened to visit it.
Patris is not a large town, and it didn't take us long to reach the approach. Patris' Acropolis is also at the top of a high hill, of course; an enormous reach of stairs extended up to it.
At the top of the stairs were a few homes. Even if we'd found nothing else, however, the view was breathtaking. Obviously the whole town had been arranged for the view of that great mountain across the bay. For religious reasons? Betraying a prehistoric understanding of obscure energies? Or just to increase real estate values? We'll probably never know.
However, we did find something: another, higher extension of the hill. There we found what appeared to be a nice, community park, complete with one swing set and a couple of park benches.
We were able to find, among the debris, some remains of the older (by two thousand years) Greek debris. The parking logs shown below were actually columns from a Greek temple that once stood here!
As we had found so often in our travels, the ruins possessed a special energy we seldom find in the United States, except in some ancient Native American sites. Is it possible that simply being old is enough to imbue a place with a high psychic energy? Whether that's the explanation or not, Michael and I both found the Patris Acropolis to be a remarkably peaceful spot, quite suitable for simply sitting and relaxing.
And even the Turkish ruins afforded some spectacular views. It was unfortunately that they were cluttered with pipes, wiring, and broadcast antennas—however, thanks to the magic of digital photography, I was able to remove the distractions from the above photo so that you can see what I was able to see, at the time, only in my mind's eye.
What a view the Turks had of the harbor below! Of course, they may have preferred it for reasons of defense, but still—how could they have not stood, breathless, on a perfect sunny day like this one, and admired the splendor laid out before them?
The grounds, which were once probably covered with marble (and may still be, under the dirt), have been turned into gardens and orchards—not very realistic from an archaeological standpoint, but extremely pleasant for wandering and daydreaming.
We could have happily stayed for days, but eventually the sun began to sink into the sea and we knew it was time to head for the ferry. On the way out, we looked down: The Turks, who had dismantled the Greek ruins to build their own fortress, had used some of the carved components for steps.
And, then, finally, it was time to board the ferry. We had stored our things at the train station, which was some distance along the bay from the ferry office; and the ferry office was some distance from the ferry itself. So, we had a lot of lugging to do. We vowed, on our next trip to Europe, to bring a lot less stuff!
It turned out to be the very same ship in which Michael and I had come to Greece in the first place. We found our room, a different one than previous but identical, had dinner, and then went to sleep; knowing that, in the morning, we would arrive back at Brindisi for the next leg of our journey.