396 Route 43. GORGE OF THE NEDA.
probably converted into a fortress during the middle ages also. Not
far from the Panagia Chapel, outside the village, is pointed out the
entrance to an old subterranean aqueduct or similar structure, now
filled up. Nearer the Acropolis are some square foundations, called
by the inhabitants tyj? (keiXoirouXas to u.^T][xaTa, or 'Monuments
of the King's Daughter'.
The Excursion to the Gorge or the Neda, 3 M. to the W. of Pav-
litza scarcely repays the trouble and should not be attempted without
a guide (3 At".). The path is very fatiguing. The bed of the Neda (Bou-
zikd Potami) contracts below Phigalia to a defile shut in by cliffs 650-
980 ft. high, between the Ardpis ('Negro', 'Spectre'), on which lies the
village of Smerlina (p. 399), and the hill of Kastro or Oxopholid (perhaps
the ancient Heraea). At the narrowest part the river totally disappears
in a natural tunnel about 200 paces long. The spot is called the Stomion
tes Panagias, after a chapel situated in a cavern on the slope to the right,
to which a steep path descends past some pretty waterfalls. The Sanc¬
tuary of the Black Demeter is usually located here in spite of the very
considerable discrepancy as to its distance from Phigalia as given by
Pausanias. According to the myth the Earth Goddess, grieving for the
loss of her daughter Persephone, hid herself in a cave on Mt. Elaeon.
The old wooden image worshipped here represented Demeter in the form
of a woman with a horse's head, and black on account of her grief.
About the time of the Persian Wars it was renewed in bronze by the
yEginetan sculptor Onatas. — A bridge used to span the river near the
Stomion, and farther up the river there are remains of another ancient
bridge. The journey from the Stomion to the Mouth of the Neda at the
Khan of Bouzi (p. 403), including the usually unavoidable detour by Smer¬
lina (see above and p. 399), takes about 4 hrs.
From Phigalfa to Eira and Megalopolis, see pp. 399-396; to
Diavolitzi, see p. 384; to Kaidpha (Samikon and Olympia), see
p. 399; to Kyparissia, see p. 401.
44. From Megalopolis to the West Coast via Phigalia.
Two long days' journey. 1st Day. From Megalopolis to Phigalia,
10'/2 hrs. (exclusive of halts).. — 2nd Day. From Phigalia to Kaiapha
(Samikon), 9'/2 hrs., or to Kyparissia, 51/2 hrs. — Phigalia is more con¬
veniently reached from the railway-station of Diavolitzi, see p. 384.
Megalopolis, see p. 381. The route at first follows the road to
Messenia, crosses the Xerillas (p. 388), beyond Agids-Bey, and then
diverges to the right. In 1 hr. we reach the village of Choremi. Leav¬
ing Delihassan to the right, our road leads through a pleasant district
(numerous wine-presses), crossing several brooks, and approaches
the right bank of the little stream of Gastritzi, called Plataniston
in classic times, iff reference to the abundant plane-trees which then
as now grew near it. Our track in Ife hr. passes a Chapel of St. John,
shaded by oak-trees. The ruins opposite, on the left bank, beside
a solitary house, perhaps represent the little town of Daseae. We
follow the right bank, and beyond some hills, l3/4 hr. from Choremi,
we reach the plateau known as Terzi, above the scattered village of
Vasilis. On this and the adjoining hill to the S.W. lie the ruins of
the very ancient Pelasgian city of Lyk6soura, now called the
Palaedkastro of Stdla (p. 398) or Siderdkastro, where the temple