Jeff's Blog - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - Delphi

Wow I really loved seeing Delphi -- this is a perfect site for me with all the ancient ruins beside the picturesque mountainous backdrop. Delphi was the center of the world to the Ancient Greeks. It was here you came, washed yourself in the Castilian Springs, visited the Sybil who sat upon a special rock to deliver her prophesies (if you came during extreme ancient times), or else visited the oracle if you were born a little later. The oracle sat near a crack in the earth where hallucinogenic gasses escaped, giving her the ability to see all and foretell all. I'm hoping to find that juju.

Right after breakfast, I started with the region called the Sanctuary of Apollo before the heat of day might set in. Situated on a mountain side, a 700-foot climb takes you past ancient temple ruins, ceremonial structures, an amphitheater, and a running stadium at the top. What a climb it was for me, and my camera shutter finger was sooooo sore by the time I made it to the top! I hereby decree than any retired person who makes it to the stadium shall be declared the winner and given free amphitheater tickets.

The nearby archaeological museum houses the precious artifacts found on site and nearby. It's a compact one- to two-hour museum where teenagers come to yawn and guys like me enjoy making some connections to things I've seen elsewhere. Like a sculpture carved in 300 BC by Praxias, not a Roman copy of one, but an actual original (1st photo). Or the Sphinx of Naxos (2nd photo), which once stood atop a tall column next to the Temple of Apollo (2nd photo above).

After lunch I visited the spring to wash up, but it's all fenced off due to rock slides. Across the street is the Sanctuary of a Athena, though, and that was open. It was a bit of a hike down but the Temple of Athena, otherwise known as the Tholos, is the most photographed sight in Delphi, and the thing I was most looking forward to seeing. It didn't disappoint; it's quite a beauty. Photos are below.

Never did find that psychedelic crack in the earth. And the Oracle at Delphi had the day off today. Sheesh, my luck is something else.

Tomorrow morning I leave Delphi and drive to Olympus. I imagine it to be a mountainous drive with lots of pull-outs and spectacular views. It's supposed too be only a 4-hour drive but I'll probably stretch it out to the full day.

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