June 20, 2011

corinth canal

with the same idea in mind of going where the wind best allowed us, we moved further north to cross the corinth canal that separates mainland greece and the peloponnese. the canal was built around 1822, it has 3 miles in length, 20 meters wide and surrounded by huge limestone walls that went up to 75 meters tall. this canal became the third of our trip so far. it was different from the others. there was no need for advisors or pilots. this one we crossed on our own.

it was simple and short. the entire document exchange and payment lasted only 10 minutes, and the actual crossing lasted 45 minutes. so within less than one hour we arrived, got the office formalities out of the way, signed, paid and crossed to the other side. motoring through such a narrow gap is at the least very bizarre. we enjoyed it.

once on the other side we were greeted by more wind on the nose that we had to struggle against. but we motor sailed and arrived with the last light in trizonia, a little island with a free and abandoned marina and of course the same usual taverns and restaurants where we ate and drank some more… adding more extra pounds to our already bigger bodies… courtesy of the hummus, halawa, pita bread and feta cheese, just to mention some ….

the next morning we continued west and for the first time in the med with the wind strong and completely behind us. we checked our GPS and saw we had to go under a bridge of only 49 feet tall… we could not believe this!!! our little boat would not pass through. we contemplated we had to return through the corinth canal again….! but of course we thought there had to be a mistake, and sure enough there was… upon seeing the bridge we realized where we were. we crossed the antirio bridge which is the longest hanging bridge in the world and is huge, magnificent and plenty tall for our boat to go under and three more on top of us. we had seen on the discovery channel a few years back how this engineering masterpiece was built and finished well in advance before the greece olympic games of 2004. it was pretty amazing to know the story of it and actually see it and go under. it was fantastic.

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