Navarino Bay from the new castle at Pylos. It was an Ottoman fort until the decisive Battle of Navarino Bay in 1827.  The old castle (ancient + Frankish and Venetian) is at the edge of the mainland in the distance.

img_8587A damp, rumbling kind of day that reconciled me to spending much of it on or waiting for buses to bring me to Pylos. I had a great time rambling around the pine-inhabited old castle on the hill, looking at the old mosque converted into a church and visiting the small exhibitions of shipwrecks and drowned settlements.

My favourite object was from the 1802 shipwreck off Kythira of the “Mentor”, which was carrying Lord Elgin’s Parthenon marbles. (Spoiler alert: he got them back.) The object was a couple of broken glass bottles fused with a pistol so rusted that it looked more like tempura. It was the kind of thing that might be presented as modern art in a gallery – and then I would have found it pretentious. But in this context, I loved the obvious  differences in the materials’ reactions with salt water and the marriage of this odd couple.

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