Just an Hour Away From Athens Greece
I had recently arrived in Athens, Greece and had settled into my rented room in the northern suburbs. It was a spacious studio apartment in a quiet, tree-lined street. I usually prefer to rent rooms during business trips to foreign countries; it’s a way for me to blend with the locals and experience their customs and traditions up close. After having spent a week in and out of meetings, I was looking for a little escape – somewhere out of the city.
A friendly neighbor was kind enough to inform me about Corinth – a small coastal city to the south, in the Peloponnesian region. Worried about how to get there -as I had not rented a car -I inquired about possible train routes. I was comforted to learn that I can easily hop onto the nearby Metro that connects with the Suburban train. The ride, I was told, is only an hour away. I packed a backpack with some personal stuff, including swimming trunks and towel, and headed out the door. Before I knew it, I was being whisked out of the city sitting comfortably in a speedy air-conditioned train. Surely enough, within an hour, we were crossing the famous Isthmus, and preparing to disembark at the first stop in Corinth.
Right outside the station, was a local bus waiting to take us towards Corinth and its beaches. On my ride into town, I gazed out the window. Spread out in front of the city was the Corinthian Gulf with its sparkling, blue waters, mountainous regions surrounding it and more across the Gulf. Behind the city, away from the sea, stands the monolithic rock of Acrocorinth, with its medieval castle on top. Right underneath it is the ancient town of Corinthos which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1858 and slowly rebuilt in time. Corinth itself, or New Corinth, was built after the earthquake only to be destroyed twice by another earthquake and fire.
As I got off the bus in the centre of town, I found myself in a bustling, modern city with plenty of low-lying buildings. I made my way down a wide boulevard and discovered a great part of the city has been turned into a huge pedestrian walk. A visitor can browse through window shops or enjoy a morning coffee free from the hassle of street traffic. On my way towards the marina, I found myself in front of a vastly-tiled square, dotted by cafes to the left and the right with a huge statue of the majestic mythological creature of Pegasus; the winged horse. I chose to have my morning coffee overlooking this square under some shade. I asked the people at the neighboring table where I should go swimming and they told me to head to the outskirts of the city to a place called Kalamia.
The bus ride there was short and sweet. The beach is awarded a blue flag each year for its …