Modern Corinth is hardly a dazzling metropolis, but its harbour is beautiful, her sparkling waters enclosed by mountains. And its hospitality is legend. In so far as it doesn’t exist, and perhaps never did. Indeed, the hotel we stayed in was not formally staffed. If we needed any assistance, we entered the adjoining cafe, there to prise someone away from their cigarettes and booze.
Not much remained of ancient Corinth, and many of her fairer artefacts had long been whisked off to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Even so, our stroll among the Corinthian ruins was moving, with thoughts of “faith, hope and charity” in mind. But the highlight of the day was a hike up to Acrocorinth, a Gondor-esque mountain fortress to which the Corinthians hid from invaders, and the home of the notorious Temple of Aphrodite, the ancient brothel so loathed by St. Paul. Almost devoid of tourists, Acrocorinth was a maze of flowers and stone, the scented air alive with bumblebees, and invigoratingly fresh.
We lingered as long as possible.
Despite the offer of a lift from kindly locals, we walked the way down, enjoying the gradual descent from Aphrodite’s perfumed abode, to the equally enticing aroma of dinner, emanating from the tavernas in the old village…