07.07.2015 - 09.07.2015 36 °C
7 July. The first two thirds of the drive from Corinth to Delphi is pretty boring. Mostly motorway and touching on the outskirts of Athens before turning North. However the last third of the journey provides some great scenery - this is actually skiing country in the winter.
As with all of these places, you don't see anything until you are almost on top it - you turn the last corner and there it is high on the slopes of Mount Parnassus (home of the Muses in Greek Mythology).
After checking into the hotel (Acropole Delphi) I had a wander around the town and found somewhere for dinner. Restaurant (Taverna To Patrikomas) was recommended for food and views and both lived up to the billing. I had a really well cooked rabbit stew and they gave me a table right on the edge of the terrace overlooking the Phocis valley down to the seaside village of Galaxidi - incredible view.
8 July - dedicated to the Oracle (Delphi that is, not a previous employer of mine).
I started early as its a about a mile walk from the village to the main archeological site and the museum and about another mile further down to the sanctuary of Athena. There was no avoiding the crowds (or the sun from which it was impossible to escape) here as Delphi is the number one day trip for the masses of tourists from Athens - apparently it's considered second in importance after the Acropolis of Athens
A bit about Delphi courtesy of Wikipedia.
In myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece (510-323 BC), the site of Delphi was believed to be determined by Zeus when he sought to find the centre of his "Grandmother Earth" (Ge, Gaea, or Gaia). He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found.
Earlier myths include traditions that Pythia, or the Delphic oracle, already was the site of an important oracle in the pre-classical Greek world (as early as 1400 BC) and, rededicated from about 800 BCE, when it served as the major site during classical times for the worship of the god Apollo. Apollo was said to have slain Python, "a dragon" who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. "Python" (derived from the verb πύθω (pythō), "to rot") is claimed by some to be the original name of the site in recognition of Python which Apollo defeated. The Homeric Hymn to Delphic Apollo recalled that the ancient name of this site had been Krisa. Others relate that it was named Pytho and that Pythia, the priestess serving as the oracle, was chosen from their ranks by a group of priestesses who officiated at the temple.
Suffice to say it was important primarily as an Oracle. I had a quick word with said Oracle about the forthcoming World Cup and all I could hear repeatedly was "All Blacks".
Sanctuary of Athena
The museum which has some data sticky well preserved artefacts from the two sites:
Went back to the same restaurant in Delphi that evening - not like me to do this but it really was so good.
The week I have spent visiting these sites has been really interesting and enjoyable. I have always been fascinated by Greek Myhtology (though quite ignorant) and these sites have always been on a wish list to visit. I feel inspired to find out more (starting with reading Homers Iliad -. Mos comment "what's all of this got to do with the Simpsons?"
Tomorrow (9 July) I drive to Piraues to begin three weeks visiting 3 islands in the Aegean and doing very little at all so the blogs will be content free.