By: Kelly McKenna
Most of us had been in a cave before, but the cave of Diros was something different than we had experienced before. Descending into the cave wearing our bright orange life jackets, we boarded boats to explore. The cave is about 14 km and we explored about 1,300 meters on the lake and the other 200 on pathways. The cave has millions of tiny stalactites hanging off the ceiling and stalagmites at the bottom of the lake. The lake itself reaches 90 meters below the surface in the deepest areas. The only animals that inhabit the cave are spiders and eels; and, although we did not see any spiders, we did get to see a foot long eel swim past our boat. After finishing our tour of the cave, we headed up to Sparta where we explored and found a playground to play on before dinner and a trip to an ice cream parlor.
Before leaving Sparta, we visited the Olive Museum, where we learned the history of olives and olive oil. Our bus driver was then kind enough to take us to the top of a mountain so we could climb down, visiting the different churches and the Fortress of Mystra as we went. We learned how the Ancient town of Sparta had been destroyed and those churches and palaces on the hill were all that was left from the Ancient times in that area.
After the walk down the mountain and lunch, we traveled to the city of Nafplio, a port city with a shopping area that had sidewalks that doubled as roads. After learning the best ice cream shop in the city was closed, we went to the next best shop and ate our ice cream on the way back to our hotel. We set out again before dinner in smaller groups with some going shopping, some getting lost, and some even finding a mini fair in the park across from our hotel and rode the bumper cars before heading back to the hotel. After dinner, a large group of us went back to ride the bumper cars again and then relax with another trip to the ice cream shop before turning in for the night. Tomorrow, we will be leaving Nafplio and heading to Mycenae and the Corinth canal on our way back to Athens. Our trip will then wrap up with a day cruise around the 3 Saronic Islands.