Charles was especially excited for this part of our trip since he’s a big fan of all sports. He got his Master’s in Sports Management soooooo yea, this day was his day.
We arrived at the archaeological site of Olympia around 9am and explored the ruins while our tour guide shared stories, painting a picture of what it was like to take part in the first Olympics game in 776 BC.
Major takeaways were:
1) You had to be a man, no women were allowed inside Olympia, since the athletes competed butterball naked.
2) If there was any kind of war going on in Greece, the opposing sides would “take a break” just for the Olympic games and, afterwards, pick back up where they left off.
3) When the Olympic games weren’t happening, Olympia functioned as a meeting place for worship and other religious and political practices.
Below are a few photos from our visit there on a crisp, spring day.
^^ This is the field where the first races took place. Charles ended up running across the field so he could say that “he ran where the first Olympians raced”.
^^ Inside the museum where the most intact statues are preserved.
After a full day on our feet in Olympia, we hopped back on the tour bus and found ourselves driving along the coast of the Corinth Gulf and up into the mountains of Greece. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much of the drive since I was asleep but when I woke up, we had arrived in Delphi.
We checked into our hotel right on time to catch the sunset, grabbed dinner and then I zonked out again after making sure that everyone on our tour group was good and enjoying themselves.
At this point, the jet lag was catching up to me… I ended up waking up around 4:00am and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I made myself a cup of tea, put the hotel robe on top of my pj’s, grabbed a novel I had brought and went out onto our room’s balcony to watch the sunrise while Charles snored the morning away.
Working as a tour leader for 4 days so far… Having to be “on” non-stop, tracking people to make sure the tour bus didn’t leave them, responding to injuries, lost items, etc. Add in the fact that I’m an introvert… The trip was fun and exciting but also really draining.
Having the morning to myself was just the kind of restorative experience I didn’t realize I needed and so appreciated.
^^ Isn’t that moon a beauty? I was also loving the soft colors of sunrise over the mountains and coastline.
3 hours later, I went back inside and woke Charles up.
It was time to get ready, eat breakfast and explore the Temple of Apollo, the Greek god of the arts, prophecy, sun, medicine, archery and intelligence annnnd the list goes on and on and on. Apparently, Apollo was a god of many talents.
The Temple of Apollo was also the home of the ancient Oracle, who doled out cryptic prophecies and guidance to both city-states and individuals in Greece.
Built into the cliff side of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was really, really pretty. The temple was nicely preserved, even better than Olympia (in my opinion) and the mountain views were stunning.
^^ Can you spot me??
4 hours later, we were back on the bus, and headed to our next destination, Meteora = one of my top three favorite stops on our tour around Greece.
More on that next week :)
P.S. You can catch up on my Greece posts HERE