Saturday, November 7, 2015

No room to spare going through Corinth canal

We were up bright and early the next morning for our voyage through the Corinth Canal. This amazing piece of engineering connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland. The builders dug the canal at sea level — no locks were employed. It is 6.5 kilometres in length and only 21.4 meters wide at its base, making it impassable for most modern ships. It now has little economic importance.

An abortive effort was made to build it in 1st century AD. Construction finally got underway in 1881 but was hampered by the geological and financial problems. It was completed in 1893 but due to its narrowness, navigational problems and periodic closures to repair landslides it failed to attract much traffic.

Although it was a bit breezy, and threatening to rain, it was fun to watch our passage between the high walls. It felt like you could reach out and touch them. We did catch a glimpse of three foxes carefully running along a very steep path. But for is it was the end of the canal and time for breakfast.

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