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This cache has been archived.

George & Christina: The time has come to put this to rest, perhaps another cache in the area will take its place!


Gates of Fire

A cache by George & Christina Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 04/29/2006
2 out of 5
3.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

A cache at Thermopylae.

This cache is hidden at the site of the battle of Thermopylae (480 BC). The best way to find it is to climb on the Kolonos hill. You will reach a memorial plaque there; the ancient greek on the inscription translates:

"Friend, go tell the Spartans that we lie here in obedience to their laws"

On the opposite site of the highway, you will see the statue of Leonidas and the monument to the 300 Spartans, and, to the west, the monument to the 700 Thespians.

Keep walking on the path. You will have some growth to deal with but you can follow the path and/or your GPS to the cache coordinates. The cache is hidden under a bush that stands alone, and is a tupper container wrapped up in a plastic bag.

On the history of the place:

In 480 BC, Xerxes led the Persians and invaded Greece. The Spartan king Leonidas, in charge of 7000 Greeks, was ordered to cut the advance of the Persian army at Thermopylae (in central Greece), a narrow strip of land between the sea and impassable mountains. The Persian army, 250,000 strong, attacked twice and was forced to retreat, due to the fact that the passage was so narrow that they could not fully deploy their force. However, an avaricious local farmer, Ephialtes, led a force of Persian infantry through a mountain passage and next morning they appeared behind the Greek lines. Leonidas ordered the rest of the army withdraw, and held the passage with 300 Spartans. An additional 700 Thespian warriors refused to obey and stayed behind as well. As a true Spartan, Leonidas chose death over retreat; all 300 Spartans, including Leonidas, died, but held the Persians long enough to ensure the safe withdrawal of the rest of the Greek army.

At the time of the battle of Thermopylae, this was a very narrow strip of land between the sea and steep mountains (where the cache is), but since then, alluvial deposits from the nearby river Spercheios have created an extensive plain. The name of the place, Thermopylae or Gates of Fire, derives from the fact that it was a narrow passage, and had hot water springs, which are still there. There is a hot stream flowing through, keeping its hot temperature (and sulphurous smell) even in winter. The stream (a few minutes walk to the west of the Kolonos hill) and the statue of Leonidas across the highway are definitely worth a visit!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Haqre gur ohfu vf n cvyr bs ebpxf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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