Combining sun, sea and archaeological sites in Classical Greece – part 2

Delphi

Sunday afternoon went well, deferred visit to archaeological sites to see Dublin win their ‘three in a row’- courtesy of internet.  Followed up with a pool swim at the Amalia Hotel and an excellent dinner in Delphi.  Would be afraid to ask the Oracle whether Mayo will win next year.

On way into Delphi site

Monday morning went to the archaeological site.  Blew my mind – the combination of votives, theatre and stadium.

The theatre itself is stunning – to think that they held their festivals here – with combinations of religious sacrifices, theatre and games.

Temple at Delphi

The other striking part is the climb above the votives and the temple to reach the stadium.  Unfortunately, unlike at Olympia and Epidaurus you cannot enter the stadium (or at least the day I was there).

Shauna at Stadium in Delphi

And finally the museum itself is well worth the visit – with all sorts of items which have been recovered from 2,000 to2,500 years ago.

Unfortunately we did not have time to visit the gymnasium – on the lower slope (but something for the next visit).  Delphi was everything I had hoped for – and more.  We stayed on another evening becuase, unfortunately, needed to spend a few hours working remotely (the blessings of modern technology!).  But another excellent meal and welcoming Greeks made for a most enjoyable evening.

Olympia

Next morning headed off on longest drive of the trip (c. 300km)- heading for the Peloponnese – initial target: Olympia and from there on to Pylos.  The drive as far as the Peloponnese (crossed the bridge at Patra) was spectacular.  Shortly after Patra pulled in for first sea swim of the day – at some beach bar already closed for the off season.  and from there headed to Olympia.  Scenery very boring until fot within about 10km of Olympia – and then all changed.  Olympia is a beautiful village/ town and we had a lovely lunch in the main square.  Then I headed to the archaeological site for a couple of hours in the late afternoon – this time on my own.

I started with the museum.  Olympia was dedicated to Zeus.  And you get a good understanding of the site and its history at the excellent museum.

Zeus at Olympia

There is also a botanical garden in which you get an introduction to the various plants which are native to the Peloponnese.

But then the site.  There is so much to see.  The temple of Hera is very striking.

Stadium at Olympia

But obviously the big attraction is the stadium: the Olympic Stadium.  Unlike Delphi the spectator area is simply grass banks – and apparently this accommodated 45,000 people at the games back in 700BC.  And you get to enter the stadium and to walk/ run the approx. 190m track.

 

After Olympia we had another 120km to cover.  Stopped off for a swim on the way – as you do.  And got in to the beautiful village of Pylos by 9pm. in time for an excellent meal at the restaurant next to our hotel (Karalis City Hotel).

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