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THE WONDERS OF DELPHI

It is impossible to travel through the Gulf of Corinth and not stop near Delphi one of the most famous of all Greek ruins.  We docked Destiny in Galaxidhi about 30 km from Delphi and rented a car to visit the site.

Enroute to Delphi

Enroute to Delphi

Leaving Galaxhidi we climbed for miles, higher and higher up the switch back road that leads to the modern town of Delphi and then the archeological site and museum just beyond it.  The view down the valley to the sea, with Galaxidhi in the distance were quite dramatic.

Delphi to the Sea

Delphi to the Sea

What remains of Delphi pales in comparison to the Parthenon in Athens or Ostio Antica in Rome, but what makes it so spectacular is its location high on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, the second highest mountain in Greece after Mt. Olympus.

Amphitheater

Amphitheater

 The famous Oracle of Delphi, which is believed to have been a rock chasm through which emerged a gas that cast a spell and caused the person so affected to spout prophecies is well entrenched in Greek history and legend. 

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

 

The Treasury--one of few buildings standing

The Treasury--one of few buildings standing

The steep cliffs and brilliant blue sky (we were blessed with a glorious, sunny day) frame the ancient columns, amphitheater and other building remains.

How did they get it here

How did they get it here

Lower archeological site

Lower archeological site

Upon first viewing  the Delphi  ruins seem small compared to others we have seen, but as you climb higher and higher and then look down from near the Stadium which is at the highest point in the ruins you are struck by how massive this excavation is and what a feat it was to have built the ancient town in this location.

Delphi's Stadium echoes with past contests

Delphi's Stadium echoes with past contests

Thankfully there was a water stop along the way–it was a long, hot climb.

Kent tanks up for the walk down

Kent tanks up for the walk down

After viewing the archeological site and touring the museum we traveled to the town of Arachova about 10 km further east.  We were very surprised to learn that there is a ski resort on Mt. Parnassus—in fact we could see the runs carved into the mountain slopes and some appeared to still have snow. 

Arachova's narrow streets are lined with ski shops and still have traces of winter in the decorations

Arachova's narrow streets are lined with ski shops and still have traces of winter in the decorations

Arachova is a quintessential ski town with tavernas that advertise numerous fireplaces and shops selling skis, snowboards and upscale clothing.  This time of year the action moves outdoors and every little square is chock-a-block full of chairs and umbrellas. 

Arachova Cafe Scene

Arachova Cafe Scene

We had lunch at a little café filled with locals doing what Greeks do on Sunday—relaxing and sipping coffee or something stronger for hours on end.  Spilling from a fountain right next to our table was water that comes directly from the mountain.  Pitchers were filled with ice cold water from the fountain and served as you sat down—better than anything that comes from a bottle.

Mt. water sounded wonderful and tasted even better

Mt. water sounded wonderful and tasted even better

One of the first shops we saw entering the town was “Columbia Sportswear”—they have definitely penetrated the Euro market, as this is not the first we have seen.  Our favorite sign appears below—who knew Montana’s reach was so far!

Montana Ski Club

Montana Ski Club

On the way back to Galaxidhi we notice a modern aquiduct that runs for miles down the mountain, much of it above ground.  Apparently the water we enjoyed in Arachova is served at sea level too.

A winding blue ribbon of mountain water

A winding blue ribbon of mountain water

Along the way we saw masses of yellow on the mountain sides, as scotch broom, bloomed at the higher elevations where little else grew.

Scotch broom, just like Nantucket

Scotch broom, just like Nantucket

We also saw the iron ore mines that are common to this region, scarring the mountain side and turning everything red from the dust that accompanies the mining process.

Iron ore mine

Iron ore mine

Finally back at sea level, our final stop on the way back to Destiny was Itea, another sea side village a few miles to the east.

Kent returns to Sea Level

Kent returns to Sea Level

All in all, it was a wonderful day exploring—despite the fact that our little rental car didn’t like to go into reverse gear—nice to know that not all “mechanicals” are boat related.

Kent called it "the Bumble Bee"

Kent called it "the Bumble Bee"

Back to Destiny with pleasure!

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