We consulted the Oracle today! and in doing so, we set a NEW record for flights of stairs climbed, according to my Garmin: 100! Old record was 77.
Highlight of the day: not really a highlight but funny occurrence of the day. We were walking ON THE SIDEWALK and a car drove towards us, also on the sidewalk, and honked for us to get out of his way! Crazy drivers!
Delphi is a cute little town, obviously existing solely to cater to tourists. But cute nonetheless. There are only about 2 streets of commercial businesses (restaurants, tourist shops) and a day is enough to cover every street. The restaurants are quite large - which Rick Steves suggests is so that they can cater to tour groups. We caught the town at the end of the season and it’s very quiet at night, although in the daytime, there were still several tour groups and the road to the site was lined with cars. I think most people visit Delphi as a daytrip from Athens.
You walk to the end of the street and then take the paved sidewalk about 1/2 mile to the Archaeological Museum and a bit further to enter the Archaeological site. The site was much larger than we expected.
When they say that Delphi is “perched” on Mount Parnassus, they really mean “perched.” It’s a pretty mountainous region and the site is quite steep. Such a wonder it must have been in its heyday! Beautiful buildings everywhere, treasure galore. Even now it is a magical place to walk through. One of the best preserved buildings is the Treasury of Athens, part way up the Sacred Way.
This picture shows the theatre with the remaining columns of the Temple of Apollo below it. The small rooms where the Pythia would sit was in the middle of the temple.
This is an amphalos. Ot seems that there were more than one: one was inside the Temple of Apollo, one was at the entrance to the temple and one was here. The one from the entrance to the temple is in the Museum. Tradition says that Zeus released 2 eagles which flew in opposite directions around the earth. The place where they met (Delphi) was the centre of the universe and was marked with the omphalos.
Below the Sacred Way and the Temple of Apollo (and below the current road) is the temple of Athena and the Thoros (pictured with columns). The Temple of Athena dates from several hundred years earlier than the Temple of Apollo.
Above the Temple of Apollo (by quite a hike!) is the stadium, wonderfully well preserved.
Major excavations at Delphi were undertaken by the French in the 1890s, and they were fortunate to uncover a number of items in very good shape, including two Kouros and this sphinx. The Museum was, as we have always found, excellent and really gave us an idea of how Delphi must have looked with all the pieces in place.
Our last night in “rural” Greece because tomorrow we head back to Athens to see the Parthenon and other “biggies.”