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Jun 16, 2013

Project Heracles: On the Road

will clean windows for pizza
I had always suspected there were fairies (die Feen) in Germany, but I didn't expect to meet one at an Autobahn rest stop on the drive from Cologne to Tiryns, Greece for this year's geophysical measurements. This charming Fee was short on cash and wanted to wash our windshield for lunch money.

After a short piece of road and an even shorter piece of Austria, we crossed the Brenner Pass into Italy. The sun shone as we descended to the Po Valley. I tried to calculate how many of the vineyards we passed were there only to support my annual wine intake, but thought better of it.

approaching the Brenner Pass
Early evening, we arrived in Forli, a sleepy university town just south of Bologna, where we had a scrumptious dinner at a cozy Trattoria. I had homemade ravioli in a cream sauce with green asparagus accompanied by a crisp white wine (only a small portion of vineyard) and one too many Limoncellos.

Our ferry trip next morning from Ancona to Patras proceeded with nary a problem. Rain clouds chased us from the harbor but then gave up and hugged the coastline.We sat on deck all afternoon and again the next day until we docked. The frolicking dolphins showed up during the few minutes I went back to the cabin to freshen up (and disappeared before I returned). I finished reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, our Worlds of Wonder Book Club selection for June. I also read Double Double, a memoir cowritten by one of my favorite mystery authors, Martha Grimes with her son Ken.

 After debarking in Patras, the drive to Tiryns was by turns laborious and grueling due to the perpetual (and seemingly perpetually halted) road construction for most of the way.

Anthemion Guest House, our regular 'field hotel' located on the outskirts of Napflion was there to welcome us, along with its friendly and accommodating proprietor, Sofia. It felt like a home away from home. We met the students for dinner (at Scuola in Napflion) and anticipated the first day of field work.