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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Delphi, Greece

Our port is Itea, located on the north coast of the Bay of Corinth, a deep inlet of the Ionian Sea separating Peloponnese from mainland Greece.


Our destination is Delphi, the archaeological site of an ancient Greek ceremonial "sanctuary" with a massive temple for the worship of Apollo, son of Zeus.  Here pilgrims came with offerings to the god Apollo, and to get answers from the Oracle.  The answers were highly sought and always correct. Of course the Pythia, an elderly blameless peasant woman who was the Oracle giver, sat on a geological vent emitting ethylene vapors, she spoke gibberish, and was "interpreted" by the priests. Since this continued for hundreds of years, there was more than one Pythia.

To get to Delphi, hidden away up in the mountains, we drove across a valley full of olive groves and steeply up into the hills to the site.


There we toured the museum first to see artifacts taken from the digs at the sanctuary.



This model shows the site, with the huge Temple of Apollo, and the street leading up to it lined with treasuries, where the offerings from various city-states were stored.  Some of these treasuries became so full, that older offerings were buried, thus preserving them for us to see now.
These little "votive" or offering figures were made c.1400-1050 B.C. This is the Mycenaean period.
The evolution of the tripod and it's ceremonial attachments, in the 7th century B.C.



Bronze axes and helmets of the 7th Century B.C.


 Decorative mythological figures, and our tour guide.
 The pediment of one of the richest treasuries, probably Athens. 

 The statue of Dionysus from the pediment of the Temple of Apollo.



 A bronze charioteer. 
And then we began the climb ourselves steadily up hill to the temple.

 An omphalos, a "navel of the earth" marking what was thought to be the center of the earth at that time. 
One of the Treasuries. 

 The Temple of Apollo.




The theater. 



 Fall blooming crocus, natives here.



 We were short on time, but about ten of us pressed on after the guide and the rest of the group turned back.  We knew we were going to be late back to the bus, but we were not going to be denied another stadium.  Here, above all the rest, was this huge race track!



 Then we hurried back, as best we could, over stones and cobbles, back down through the treasuries and temples, having made our offering - to ourselves!
A short bus ride took us down the mountain to the new village of Delphi, built in the 1860's when archaeological work began on the ancient site.  We had coffee and baklava here at a cafe with this view. We had once again earned our break.

The drive back down to the port revealed more countryside views.

We walked around the port a bit before returning to the ship for a late lunch and an early sail away.

We sailed west into the sunset, and under the Rio-Antirio Bridge.

We would now be headed for Rome.

But it was Halloween!  On board ship the crew had decorated with wonderful carved pumpkins!


I thought maybe I could dress up as the Pythia, the Oracle.  I could just throw on a few scarves over my long black dress.  After all I am a woman over 50 of blameless character and I can talk gibberish when I need to. 

8 comments:

  1. Terrific captures, Linda, and thanks again for all the memories of Greece!! I did SO enjoy my time there!! Have a great weekend!!

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  2. We, too, chose to climb to the very top at Delphi. It was well worth it, and the climb wasn't all that difficult.

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  3. The pictures are unbelievable! Can you imagine living there, that high up! I love the sky in the picture where you were sailing into the sunset.

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  4. You are certainly getting your exercise. Getting to the top was worth it.
    Loved your last line. You definitely qualify.

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  5. I'm glad you got to the racetrack and were able to get some pictures to share of it. Wow! What a fine trip you had, Linda, and you've got the pictures to show for it. Thank you for bringing me along in all these adventures. :-)

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  6. There were some great pumpkin carvers aboard! I enjoyed the scenic photos:)

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  7. Great photos, Linda. We were in Delos and Rome. I'll look forward to catching up with you after I get my posts written.

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