Greece

Classical Tour of Greece – The Peloponnese Part III

May 30, 2013

Map

 

Read Part I and Part II

Day 3, our last day was enjoyable but sad. Elizabeth and I would be getting off the bus after lunch time to head back to Athens (I), while the rest of the tour was to keep going to Meteroa. Why we didn’t do the fourth day escapes me, and I really regret not going. We had to say goodbye to some really great friends.

In the morning we went five minutes outside of Delphi to the archeological site of Delphi (H). There are actually three parts to this site: The Sanctuary of Apollo, the Gymnasium, and Temenos of Athena. The Gymnasium site was closed because of damage caused by an earthquake last year. Our first stop was to the Temenos of Athena. This is where the iconic symbol of Delphi is.

The Iconic symbol of Delphi. Also known as a temple to Athena

The Iconic symbol of Delphi. Also known as a temple to Athena

The second stop was to the Sanctuary of Apollo. This is a cool site with an interesting history. According to tradition, Delphi was the geographical centre of the world, The Navel of the Earth. The story goes that Zeus wanted to know where the centre was, so he dispatched two eagles in opposite directions, and where they met was the centre. Here he laid a stone. The Stone was in the shape of an egg, and the top half actually still exists. (see picture below)

The Navel of the Earth

The Navel of the Earth

There are several building within the sanctuary, a temple, a couple of treasuries, a theatre and everything is uphill. It was definitely a sight to see. Lizzie was being smart and singing Hercules as she walked up the theatre part of the sanctuary, and she was whistled at. (BE QUIET!!!) What a goof!

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

This sight was a major point in Greek history. People would travel here from all over to talk to the priestess, who voiced for the God, Apollo. The findings from this site were amazing. People would bring gifts and gold. They would ask a simple question, and they would not get a simple answer in return. An example our tour guide told us (Sorry I am butchering it) is when a King of some nation wanted to cross the river to invade another, he came to Delphi to ask Apollo whether he should do it or not. The answer given to him was this: If you cross the river, a nation will be destroyed. It turns out it was his nation that was destroyed.

Full view of the site. Foreground: Temple of Apollo, Middleground: The Gymnasium, and you can just make out the Temple of Athena. You can also see the aqueduct that is still in use

Full view of the site. Foreground: Temple of Apollo, Middleground: The Gymnasium, and you can just make out the Temple of Athena. You can also see the aqueduct that is still in use

After lunch, Elizabeth and I had to leave our group, which was really sad. The tour was a great experience and we met some really amazing people.

I think if I were to come back to Greece, or if I was coming here without any knowledge, I would take tours. A day tour of Athens, a four day tour of classical Greece, and a 10 day tour of the islands. You meet great friends, learn some really cool things, and see a lot more than if you are by yourself.

Anyway, that’s it from our Classical tour. Bridget comes soon and then we are off to the islands!

Stay curious,

Olivia

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