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Europe Cruise Day 27
Saturday, October 2nd
Athens, Greece (Day 2)

The title of these last few pages really does not fit as the cruise is over and I am now on land for the rest of the trip.

Today's activity as part of the post cruise extension is described below.

Depart for a full-day excursion to Delphi. Drive along the highway via Thebes, Levadia, and Arachova to the breathtaking site of Delphi, located on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos. Visit the site starting from the Sacred Way, flanked on either side by treasures and monuments, up to the large doric Temple of Apollo, the Theatre and the Stadium. You will enjoy an included lunch in a picturesque local restaurant. Return to Athens this evening.

Please Note: The Delphi site requires a fair amount of walking in order to see all that is has to offer. Some of its ruins are elevated and may require a steep uphill walk in order to reach them. The site may be difficult to navigate for guests with limited mobility. Please wear comfortable walking shoes.

This pretty much sums up the plan for this day.

How it actually happened!!!
(written November, 2011)

I will start today with part of the blog entry for today.......

The trip was scheduled to depart at 8:00AM from the hotel (the Athens Lendra Marriott). Breakfast was included on all 3 days in the hotel so it was completed prior to this time. It was a very nice buffet style with many choices.

The tour left just after 8:00AM and headed to Delphi which is a two and a half hour drive north from Athens. There was a restroom stop just short of the 2 hour mark for about 25 minutes. Arrival at the site was around 11:15 and started with a tour of the museum that houses many of the artifacts found there.

The first group of pictures below shows the Athens area and some places along the way to Delphi. Much of the trip was by motorway with the last 45 minutes or so on secondary roads heading towards Mt. Parnassos on the side of which Delphi is located.

Departing Athens 1 Departing Athens 2
I believe this is the US Embassy in Athens. There is a bridge in the distance in the centre and Greek Government buildings on either side of the street.
Departing Athens 3 Departing Athens 4
That Microsoft is everywhere! What I would expect is a rather upscale apartment complex.
Departing Athens 5 To Delphi 1
Need any pet food? If you do, this is your store! We are finally out of Athens (it takes a while) and here is some of the scenery along the way.
To Delphi 2 To Delphi 3
Some farm land and some fairly major hills to the north and west of Athens. The dark coloured field in the centre is full of solar panels.
To Delphi 4 To Delphi 5
This is a lake that I think is used as a water reservoir for Athens. Another view of the same lake.
To delphi 6 To Delphi 7
I think this is another part of the same lake. More solar panels and it looks like more to come.
We saw quite a few of these along the way.
To Delphi 8 To Delphi 9
They do not just use solar panels they have wind turbines too. This is cotton growing on a plant in the garden out in front of the store where we stopped for our washroom break.
To Delphi 12 To Delphi 13
Cotton growing along the side of the road taken during the break. This is a large cotton producing area. This bin is full of cotton picked earlier this day. I think there was some comment about the crop not being as good as some years this year.
To Delphi 11 To Delphi 10
The cotton sometimes blows out of the hoppers/bins and ends up along the sides of the roads. You can see some of this in the right picture above as well. Gas prices in Euros per litre at this time.
It likely has changed rather significantly since then.
To Delphi 14 To Delphi 15
This is a monument distributor. You will see how many of these are used during the return to Athens later today. This village is just before one gets to Delphi along the road from the east. It is not the current town of Delphi as that is on the other side of the site and we did not go there.
To Delphi 16
Mt. Parnassus in on the right and this is what I believe to be the Pleistos Valley.

Now that we have finally arrived at Delphi here is some brief history of this site.

This place was where the God Apollo lived (for part of the year at least) and is best known as the home of the Delphic oracle who was the most important oracle in the classical Greek world. It was built around 1600-1500 BC and existed in various forms until around 395 AD. It is very complicated and to say much more would likely boggle the mind so I will leave it here.

The first group of pictures that follows are of the museum. Here are those.

Delphi 1 Delphi 2
The Delphi Museum. Some of the artifacts outside.
Delphi 4 Delphi Museum 1
Our guide giving us the history and general information. Just inside the main entrance.
Museum 2 Museum 3
I believe these are the Twins of Argos. This comes from the Treasury of the Siphnians I think.
Museum 4 Museum 5
More from the Treasury of the Siphnians.
Museum 6 Museum 7
Even more from the Treasury of the Siphnians.
Museum 8 Museum 13
The last from the Treasury of the Siphnians. I do not remember what this is but it is an interesting picture.
Museum 9 Large
Museum 10
Museum 11 Large
Museum 12
Museum 14 Museum 15
They certainly liked their statues back then. This fellow is known as The Charioteer.
He was discovered during an excavation that occurred in 1896.
Museum 16 Museum 17
Does not look too bad for something that was made somewhere between 480 and 460 BC. This is one of only a few statues of this type and of this age that have been found. He was protected from grief because he was buried in an earthquake in 373 BC. This was part of a group that likely contained a horse and the chariot. This is the type of statue that would have existed back then. Just about anything else of this type are copies made in marble during the Roman period.

From the blog referring to the museum.......

After about an hour there, being guided by our guide, we then continued on to the actual archaeological site which is just a short walk from the museum. 

I continue with the pictures of the ruins themselves. Most of the ruins that you will see here come from the most intense period of activity in Delphi which is in the 6th century BC.

Ruins 1 Ruins 2
Heading up into the ruins. I cannot tell you what most of these are now unfortunately.
Ruins 3 Ruins 4
Ruins 5 Ruins 6
Ruins 7 Ruins 8
Writing on the stones. Another shot of the view these people had.
Ruins 9 Ruins 10
Heading towards the Treasury of Athens. I think this is the area behind the Treasury of Athens.
Ruins 11 Ruins 12
The reconstructed Treasury of Athens. The ruins with the view.
Ruins 13 Ruins 14
More ruins with a view. The Temple of Apollo with its view.

The panorama picture below, that consists of three pictures, shows the theatre.

Panorama 2

The pictures that follow are a number of scenic pictures taken at various points during the tour around the site.

Delphi 3 Delphi 5
Taken from near the museum entrance. I think this is part of Mt. Parnassus.
Delphi 6 Delphi 7
A more complete view of the upper part of the mountain. A lower view from the ruins.

Panorama 1

The people of Delphi certainly had a view but it sure must have been hard to get here sometimes.

The blog continues.........

The Oracle of Delphi was not in this day so I was not able to get any important pearls of wisdom. It is quite amazing how much information they have been able to decipher from all these ruins. We were at the Delphi site  for just over two hours. There is a small village on the way to the Delphi ruins that has streets so narrow that busses can barely make it through. Kudos to the bus driver on this one. It was quite a feet to get through these narrow streets with a bus the size of the one this group was in. 

After getting through this village on the way back the group stopped for lunch at a local restaurant. Greek food and I did not get along so well but there were some things that I was able to eat.

The village I mention in the blog above is, I think, the one that is in one of the pictures in the top section with the caption that starts with "This village is just before.....". The next two pictures were taken at our lunch stop.

Delphi Coach 1 Delphi Coach 2

The blog continues.......

There was a short stop at a souvenir shop and then the two and a half hour drive back to the hotel in Athens.

Come to think about it I think the two pictures with the coach in them above were actually taken at the souvenir shop stop after the lunch stop.

This last group of pictures was taken as the coach headed back to Athens.

Return to Athens 1 Return to Athens 2
There were many of these memorials to people who have died in traffic accidents along this road.
This is where many of the monuments that the monument distributor in the picture taken on the way here end up.
People once lived in those buildings up there.
Return to Athens 3 Return to Athens 4
Some scenery with another memorial in the lower left. Lots of little chapels around.
Return to Athens 5 Return to Athens 6
This one seems to be out in the middle of nowhere and fairly new. These are probably the same solar panels we saw this morning.
Return to Athens 7 Return to Athens 9
The weather improved as we came down out of the mountains. My mother bought some roasts here the other day.
Oh sorry that was the Metro in Brantford, not Athens.
Return to Athens 9 Return to Athens 10
It may be a bit hard to see in this small version of this picture but the Acropolis is just right of centre. When I was in Athens or Piraeus the first time 13 days ago I could not remember what this was exactly. This picture reminds me that it is a soccer stadium. You can see cars parked on the highway ramps in the foreground for the game that was going on at this time. Apparently there is not too much parking near here so they do this.

The blog concludes this day as follows referring to the hotel in Athens......

We arrived there at approximately 5:45PM and had the rest of the day to ourselves.

Nothing more happened on this day so I will continue on to the last full day in Athens and of the trip.

On to Day 28!

Page Created: August 3, 2010
After Trip Update Started: November 17, 2011
After Trip Update Completed: November 21, 2011
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 1:12 PM

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