The Oracle was famous throughout the ancient world and people would visit ranging from Alexander the Great asking if he was going to gain world domination to average citizens asking if they were choosing the right spouse to marry. There was a hole in the ground that emitted noxious hallucinogenic vapors which female seers would inhale and then utter prophesies.
The shop owners we talked to once we were off the bus, said business had been so slow and it was the end of the season so they would be closing their doors in a few days.
A constant stream of bike riders came hurtling through town at a fast clip on their way to the Museum. I talked to one of the riders later in the Delphi Museum and she said they were on a ten day long cruise and bike trip from Germany.
After walking through town for a while, we then walked to the Delphi Archeological Museum as visiting it was essential to understanding the site and sanctuary’s importance to the ancient Greek world. A view from Delphi toward the Aegean Sea in the distance.
On the way to the museum, we passed this massive sculpture created in 1994.
Votive bronze figurines from the 8th century BC:
The fabulous statue of The Winged Victory, the God that Nike was named after, was a gift from the island of Naxos. It was all original except for its broken feet and wings.
Performance of the ancient drama Prometheus Bound at the Delphi Festival in 1930:
Initially, in the 5th century BC, a racing track was formed by leveling the ground. Spectators sat on the ground.
The seats with backrests in the center (think the 50 yard line!) were for the judges. It was incredible to think that the ground hadn’t moved underneath and that it was still absolutely level all these millennia later. There must be solid rock below the ground.
Very few people had walked all the way up here so it was very peaceful among the trees. Walking all the way up Mount Parnassus to the ancient stadium on top was slightly tiring, but worth it.
We had bought a return ticket this morning and had chosen a departure time of 6:30, rather than 4 as we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to see both the museum and the site of Delphi itself since we hadn’t arrived in Delphi until 11. As it turned out, we were done seeing the sights well before 4 so we waited for the first bus, hoping that there would be two extra seats on it. However, all the seats had been pre-booked so we were out of luck and we had a long wait in front of us.
We had looked for a bathroom earlier while wandering through town and had found one in the lower floor of a hotel on the main street. Not only were there the convenient facilities but also a complete lounge area with a number of couches and, handier still, electrical outlets! So we ended up returning there and I worked on typing up notes for one of the posts for a couple of hours on the laptop. Steven had been lugging it around all day in his backpack so I could use it on the long drive up to Delphi on the bus. It had almost run out of juice by then so I was none too sad we hadn’t been able to get seats on the bus as it meant I could recharge the laptop and work on it too. That also meant I had time on the bus to write up posts into word documents to save for a later time.
It was certainly a long day by the time we got back to the hostel that night but making the trek to Delphi had been a highlight of our trip to Athens. In one of the most evocative locations in the world, Delphi was a place of wonder and peace.
Posted from Luxor, Egypt on October 25th, 2016.