Palace of Nestor and more. 9/25/21

There is no real post from Friday since we were at sea and all we did was eat, nap, and watch some Viking TV telling us about what we are seeing today (Saturday) and not to forget to do our spit test, wash our hands, get our temperature taken, and OMG do not lose sight of your guide at the Palace of Nestor or, heaven forbid, take off your mask for one second since Greece is a Category 4 pandemic place!

We ate Friday breakfast and lunch at The Restaurant which we refer to as The. We had dinner at Chef’s Table but since we are having the same dinner tonight I will post about that later today.

Scrambled eggs, roasted tomato, and shu mai breakfast
Vegetarian kabobs with tabbouleh and tzatziki plus shrimp (ordering the shrimp confused the waitperson)

On Saturday, after another bad night’s sleep, we are ready for breakfast in our room and then we will get ready to go on our excursion. Unfortunately Room Service totally screws up our breakfast and what they do get right is cold. Maybe we need to rethink our breakfast strategy. In the meantime here is a picture of our first glimpse of Greece just as the sun is beginning to come up.

Sun coming up from behind the mountains near Kalamata, Greece

Our excursion today is 2 hours on a bus and 1 hour at the archeological site of Nestor’s Palace. Here is a little background about the Palace of Nestor from Wikipedia –

“The Palace of Nestor was an important centre in Mycenaean times, and described in Homer’s  Odyssey and Iliad as Nestor’s kingdom of “sandy Pylos.”

The palace featured in the story of the Trojan War as Homer tells us that Telemachus:

went to Pylos and to Nestor, the shepherd of the people, and he received me in his lofty house and gave me kindly welcome, as a father might his own son who after a long time had newly come from afar: even so kindly he tended me with his glorious sons.

The site is the best preserved Mycenaean Greek palace discovered. The palace is the primary structure within a larger Late Helladic era settlement, once probably surrounded by a fortified wall. The palace was a two-storey building with store rooms, workshops, baths, light wells, reception rooms and a sewage system.

The settlement had been long occupied with most artifacts discovered dating from 1300 BC. The palace complex was destroyed by fire around 1200 BC.”

So I am really jazzed to be seeing this old stuff. As my family knows I like to touch really old things which they heartily disapprove of. Hopefully I will not be led away from the site in handcuffs.

Our guide is very informative and we hear a lot of myths and info about olives and olive oil on our bus ride. As we drive along, the olive trees are everywhere and very full of olives.  Olive harvesting begins in October. Some of the green ones are picked first and some left to ripen into deep red and black olives. The trees we see grow Koroneki olives. We have bought Koroneki olive oil from the Olive Press near Sonoma. The California climate is much like the Mediterranean climate in Greece and Italy and grows similar things.

Massive amounts of olives on the trees


Mary in the shade of an olive tree

We climb out of the bus and start to explore the Palace of Nestor who seems like an all-around good guy when compared to other Greek leaders at the time.

From his hilltop palace King Nestor has a good view of the harbor near his lands and the inlet through which good and bad guys might come. His palace has never been fortified with walls because King Nestor is favored by the Greek Gods for his peace-loving government

There is not much left of the palace. The wooden roof and walls have long since burned away. All of the frescoes and paintings are in museums so we are looking at foundations and imagining what it must have looked like.

This is a mock-up of what the palace might have looked like. It was definitely at least two stories high and had small windows for ventilation and open air sections of the roof

The inside was highly decorated as has been discovered through fragments of  frescoes and wall decorations. The existing decorations are in museums.

How the main hall and hearth might have looked
Throne room and hearth as it appears now
Waiting room for men who have come to see the king. Built-in bench.
Built-in storage for amphorae
Stairs to second floor
Room where, according to Homer, Telemachus, son of Odysseus, took a bath in the very same bathtub seen here, and was treated with fine oils and wine

After an extensive look around and explanations by our very knowledgeable guide we have some time to poke around on our own.  John finds an old tomb and then I hurry to try to find John before the bus leaves.

John by entrance to Palace of Nestor
John goes solo exploring and finds a tomb

We take the hour ride back to the ship and settle in for some lunch. It is not crazy busy so waiting around for food is less troublesome. There are some really tasty lentils which remind us of the Afghani dal we make at home.

Lunch includes eggplant, Arctic char, seasonal vegetables, and dal

After lunch we walk on the upper track around the ship and come across a miniature golf setup where John wins by two holes.

A view of Kalamata from the ship’s top desk

Returning to our cabin, we take a short nap before cleaning up and getting ready for dinner.  In the Explorers Lounge we have negroni sbagliati. John tells the bartender how to make it but the drink does not taste quite right.

John in the Explorer Lounge

Asian Panorama for the second night in a row at Chef’s Table. It is getting difficult to get reservations which is good for the restaurant but bad for us. In my zeal to eat this dinner both nights I forgot to take pictures of everything. The unpictured dessert was spectacular and that is an odd thing for me to say.

First course shrimp, chicken, and lobster shu mai
Main course duck breast and confit of duck spring roll





2 thoughts on “Palace of Nestor and more. 9/25/21”

  1. What was the unpictured dessert? As you say, it’s unusual for you to praise a dessert so highly! ? Sounds like it’s turning into a good trip! The regulations don’t seem too onerous, and you’re seeing old stuff!! I love when the history is mixed with the stories!! Thanks for sharing it with us homebound folks!!

  2. The dessert for the Asian Panorama was called Asian Trilogy. It combined Asian ingredients with Western favorites. The three small desserts were a Yusuf creme brulee, a green tea cheesecake, and a chocolate banana spring roll. I really did not care for the spring roll because it was too sweet but the other two were super delicious! I

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