The Oracle at Delphi

Traveling with 6 people allows for certain luxuries that I couldn’t afford on my own. For example, we hired a private driver for our day out at Delphi. He picked us up around 8am and drove us through the mountains for an hour before we stopped at a monastery that was ridiculously gorgeous. There were monks that still lived there, so they gave certain people cover ups if they weren’t covered enough. For some reason, although I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, I didn’t get asked to cover up- but my aunt jerri did! She got essentially a potato sack to put around herself until she could leave the monastery.

We continued winding around the mountain passes, much to the chagrin of Uncle John who couldn’t bear to even look out the window, until we pulled off to the side of the road where we walked down a stone stairway and across a gravel path to see the temple for Athena. I’m certain there is something significant about this particular temple ruins- oh! Right! It was the first temple travelers would come to when they were making their trek to Delphi. So much history in this place, and it even felt magical. If you ever get to Athens I HIGHLY recommend getting yourself out here. You don’t need a guide- there is a bus that comes out this way, and I recommend getting yourself on it. It is a stunningly beautiful part of the world. Once again, however, we had to climb up the side of a decent size hill (mountain) which, for me was just part of the experience- I knew we’d be walking a lot… to some others, this was a shock… which continues to make me giggle.

The oracle at Delphi was a place where people would go to hear the prophecies made through the interpretations of the shrieks and wails by the woman who was the oracle. They say that there is a spring/place near where the oracle was that fumed out noxious gas which is what caused her to wail and be incomprehensible… at least that’s what they say now. Back in ancient times, they believed that this place was chosen based on a stone dropped in the valley of the mountains by a magical bird (I believe) We climbed all around the ruins, and even up to a gorgeous panorama spot that was the location of the first Olympic Games.

After a long hot day negotiating lots of steps and a maze of ruins (with the threat of rain rumbling in the distance) our driver took us to a little village with a restaurant where we had “hamburgers” (their version didn’t include a bun, just discs of meat- some stuffed with cheese, some without) and Greek salad (of course) and local sheeps milk yogurt made by the owner’s brother. He served it with a cherry compote and honey and it was incredible!

Our evening was a lazy one, sitting out on our deck, chatting and getting ready for a very early ferry the next day for our first island adventure! SANTORINI

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