|The Theatre of Epidaurus - 4th Century BC |
But I didn’t care. Here we were at one of the most spectacular sights in Greece, the Theatre of Epidaurus which was built around the 4th century BC. It’s so well preserved that it’s still used for performances today – by professional artists as well as by tourists like ourselves.
The story goes that the acoustics are so good, that a coin dropped on the stage can be heard by those sitting in the very top row. After my rendition, a group of pupils from St Pauls College in London arrived, and one of them tried it. We sat and watched, we saw him open his hand but we couldn’t hear the coin hit the ground. But a few minutes later we did hear one of his school chums give a spirited version of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky,
”One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.”
Now this was a young man with an acting career ahead of him. He sliced the air with his imaginary vorpal blade and projected that voice – so much so that up on the back row we could hear him quite clearly. No need for microphones and amplifiers 2,400 years ago.
For many years experts have tried to understand why the acoustics are so good at Epidaurus and now they think they have the answer. They believe the limestone seats suppress the low frequencies of the background noise from audiences and reflect the high frequencies from the actors and musicians.
Whatever the reason, the Jabberwocky performance drew applause from the pupil’s schoolmates and us, and helped round off what was to be a perfect day.
We’d cycled to Epidaurus from Nauplion – a steady, uphill climb. On the way we stopped for lunch at Ligourio where a man aged about 30 began the usual questioning. “I love New Zealand”, he said early on –visibly excited to meet a couple of Kiwis.
“Why?” I asked a little tersely. Judy had just told me the GPS wasn’t working and I was worried that perhaps the previous night I’d deleted our entire map of Europe in my efforts to find a map of Thailand.
“You have so many famous New Zealanders,” he said, and stopped. “The Maori” I suggested, and Judy offered Sir Edmund Hillary. “Dr Kerry Spackman”, the man said and we both looked at each other blankly. “He wrote a self-help book called ‘The Ant and the Ferrari’”.
We continued talking and eventually our new friend – John was his name – said reading Spackman’s book had saved his life. There was clearly more going on here than we were aware of.
We finished our lunch and resumed pedalling in the direction of Epidaurus, only to find John was in his car and providing an escort, so we didn’t miss the turnoff. When we arrived, he arranged for one of the staff to guard our bike while we toured the site. They couldn’t have been more kind, and once again our kiwiness was proving a valuable asset.
Afterwards, we swept downhill the 10 km to the coast where we found an open campsite (most have closed now for the winter), and pitched the tent almost on the water’s edge. The sun sank over the hills behind us and we opened the wine. I played with the GPS and suddenly, there was our map of Europe. What could be better.
Guys, I think this is the most rewarding blog entry to read to date :-) Simply beautiful. Enjoy the serenity of the campsite.ReplyDelete
Hi Kyle - glad you enjoyed it. Having abit of trouble getting maps to work on the posts, but persisting for the meantime. We really enjoyed our visit to Epidaurus. Hope all well with you and the gang. Cheers BrockieDelete
Looks fantastic Dad, so very jealous I wish I was on your adventure with you! xxReplyDelete
Jealous, jealous, jealous. Gillies and I can't wait to retire. Can't imagine her on a bike though.ReplyDelete
I love the updates:) And yes very jealous. Just for the record... Jane will be hard out peddling at the front, I'll be kicking back relaxing at the back:) Missing you. Happy Travels xReplyDelete
I beg your pardon. Pedal not Peddle. Apologies;)ReplyDelete