On Getting to Monemvasia

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As it turned out, getting to Monemvasia from Nafplio wasn’t entirely straightforward. There are no direct buses, and the little bus station in Nafplio wasn’t entirely helpful. All they could tell us was that there wasn’t a bus and that we had to go to Tripoli. They weren’t able to give us any information on buses from Tripoli to Monemvasia, except that there should be buses from there.

So we crossed our fingers and took a bus to Tripoli. When we arrived at the bus station there, we were told that there were no buses from the bus station to Monemvasia, but buses from Athens passed through Tripoli to Monemvasia and stopped at a restaurant about a 15 minute walk away. They obviously get people coming through on their way to Monemvasia frequently, as there was a creased sheet of lined notepaper with carefully written instructions on how to find the restaurant. We took a photo of the instructions and off we went. I think Mum would have preferred to take a taxi rather than wander through a foreign town in the dark, but we did manage to make it to the restaurant. The instructions didn’t have the name of the place, and we walked past it at first before turning back and hoping it was the right place – it was packed with people and their bags and suitcases. It was more of a roadside diner than a restaurant and clearly existed solely for the purpose of sheltering passengers while charging crazy prices for tea and bags of chips. We eventually managed to buy a ticket to Monemvasia but no one could tell us when it would come.

The ticket seller seemed to take pity on us, and came out to tell us ‘not bus’ each time a bus stopped there. After almost two hours, it was finally our bus. Unfortunately, it was so packed that we were squashed in the aisle with strange elbows digging in and our feet stepped on each time the bus lurched and people stumbled back. After about half an hour a young student offered Mum his seat, and I managed to find one about forty-five minutes later.

It was almost 11pm by the time we made it to Gefyra – the town on the edge of the bridge crossing to Monemvasia. Knowing we’d be arriving late I’d booked a hotel online, with no idea where it was actually located. We were both quite pleased to find that it was exactly where the bus stopped – right at the edge of the bridge. It was the perfect location, as we were both exhausted and didn’t feel up to walking around in the dark looking for our hotel! We were able to check in, have a drink in the bar and fall into bed in preparation for exploring Monemvasia in the morning.

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