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Traveling through Arcadia was an unexpected thrill. Famous as the fantasyland of European nature lovers since Hellenistic times, we didn't expect it to be as genuinely beautiful as it was, with rolling fields of grass and flowers blending with varied forests. However, our bus driver pronounced it "unsafe" to stop for photographs and the Greeks sell no postcards depicting the Arcadian countryside, considering it unworthy of attention. It's regarded a bit like our Ozarks. When Paul argued with one shopkeeper that artists all over the world had depicted Arcadia, he replied "But they went to Tashkent or wherever and made it all up in their heads." True enough, but it would have been fascinating to have pictures of the reality with which we could compare the European Arcadian ideal for our students.

Most of Greece has been denuded over the centuries by goats, but the less-inhabited interior of Arcadia has not made them a profitable investment, so the topsoil remains and supports rich vegetation. Homer's Greece must have looked very much like modern Arcadia.

We did make one stop out in the country, on May 24, at a tiny site ironically named Megalopolis, whose sole feature is a small, overgrown theater.