Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Chronicles of Berry: Delphi

Monday was another long day filled with bus rides, historical sites, and a museum. Our destination for the day was the town of Delphi, about three hours away from Athens. We first met up with Keti, another of the ladies who worked at the Athens Centre. We ended up taking a full-sized tour bus, one that was entirely too big for just four students, a professor, and an extra lady. Nonetheless, we were off to Delphi with one stop for breakfast.

When we got to Delphi, we met up with Elektra, who would be our tour guide for the day. Of all the beautiful sceneries I have seen so far in Greece, this had to be at the top. You could see the mountains for miles (or kilometres here). You can also see down into the valley and see the houses; it is just an absolutely breathtaking scene to behold.

Elektra toured us through Delphi, which had a temple dedicated to Apollo, the god of music, poetry, and oracles. This is also the site of the Delphi oracle, which is the most important in the classical Greek world. This had to be one of the more fascinating sites we went to since we've been here in Greece.

Delphi was also home to the Pythians, which was a precursor to the Olympic games. The stadium is still in existence, and through abotu ten minutes of climbing, the four of us students finally reached it. It was a very long stadium and the seats didn't go up very far, maybe about 10-15 rows. I would have really like to see what it looked like in ancient times as the athletes went about trying to win the crown of leaves (which went to the winner; there were no rewards for second and third place like there is today).

Elektra was particularly interesting as a tourguide because of how she delivered the tour to us. She was as passionate as someone could be about the site, and to think that she has to have that knowledge about all of these archaeological sites in Greece is mind-blowing. There were plenty of things she explained that really stuck in my head, like breaking down the name of Philadelphia. Philos means love, and Delphi means brother. It's crazy to think about where the "City of Brotherly Love" got its name from, but it came from ancient times. What made her good was the stories she had for all of the different parts of the site. It felt like I could actually use my imagination to see where everything was from the ancient times.

After we walked down from the site, we met back up with Elektra and went on a tour of the museum. Once again, the stories she knew were really able to bring the artifacts to life in a sense. We were able to go through the different artifacts from what would have been in the acropolis. We saw some sculptures of what would have Asclepios and his twin sister Artemis in some pretty amazing detail. Words can't fully describe everything you see at these sites.

When we finished with the museum, we said our goodbyes to Elektra and went to grab a quick bite to eat and something to drink. They were selling cups of some really nice looking slushies for 3 euros and 50 cents. It was pretty much worth it for what I got. We all took the bus after that for a long bus ride back to Athens, though it didn't feel as long as the ride to Delphi. Although it was a long day, it was definitely another memorable one. Our professor Dick said that what we're doing is what people have spent their whole lives trying to do. In the span of two weeks! It really makes you appreciate the experience that we've had so far and whatever is yet to come. Today (Tuesday) was another semi-off day. I sent off postcards, got some laundry done (or done for me, at a crazy expensive price) and took another quiz for Dick's class. This one I feel supremely confident that I did great on.

Tomorrow is the Island of Aegina, so tune in soon for that post! Until next time blog followers....

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