Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Delphi (Delphos) Greece

After Meteora, I made a b-line to Delphi or Delphos..  Here is the best explanation from my friend Orestis ( http://orestistrips.blogspot.com ) in Athens about the name:  in Greek we have more than one version for each name depending on the use of it. When you are asked "what's the name of this place?" the answer is "Delphi" (Δελφοί). If you are asked "where have you been at?" the answer is "I went to Delphous" (Δελφούς).   Anyway..  making the b-line point because I simply took the highway from Meteora and it was rather boring as most highways are..


For many CENTURIES!!  Delphi was the religious and spiritual center of the ancient Greek world.  And as far as they know, Delphi was also the GEOGRAPHICAL center of the world!!  Ha!  Called the Omphalos, meaning Navel... it was the meeting point of 2 eagles which were dispatched by Zeus from the ends of the universe to find the center of the world.. how's that for Greek History 101!! How lucky do I feel to be at the center of the world..needed to happen at some point on this journey, hey..?

I arrived Delphos late afternoon.. not able to find a place to stay as the camping grounds not open for season yet, and the pensions or guesthouses are booked full with Asian tourists..  but as all things that are meant to be, I got to stay at a place that is not advertised and an extremely modest price.. my favorite!  And here is the view from my window toward Galaxidi on the Aegean Sea.. works for me!


Once settled, and being a very small town, I headed straight to the ruins of Delphos, even though I hadn't eaten all day.. do I eat or see the sights!?  I get too excited.. I can always eat later.

The main site was already closed, but the gymnasium section is across the road and always open.. looking at it from above, looks great, so in I go!


The gymnasium was a popular hangout for the people of Delphos.. here they would socialize as well as prepare for the big games.. starting in 586 BC, athletes from all over Greece would come here to compete.. which became a precursor to those most famous Olympic Games!


Really special place.. I am wishing I could time travel.. really bad!  These ancient cities would have been magnificent in the day!  If I could only walk the streets, see the athletes practicing, shops, gardens, clothes, jewelery, etc etc



I interrupted an American man to take a photo with the gymnasium area behind me..  that's one thing I can always count on in tourist places is American voices..  they're everywhere!!

Next morning - What time does the main gate open?  8:30... I'm there at 8:25.. first one in and lucky to get around and take photos before the busloads of tourists wander in..


I first wandered up to the top where the stadium is.. one of the highlights and I am sure will be the goal of the other tourists too.  It's a very odd feeling to be wandering in the stadium field, where many have walked and performed before... built around the 4th century  B.... C...!!  They not only had athletic games here, but also music events.

Okay, I can't help it and please don't tell anyone, because I'm not technically supposed to be on the field... but I had to run!!! Were women allowed to compete back then??

  
All right, I'll behave a bit.. not supposed to be here too, but what is it like to be a spectator.. needed to know~~!

This is a really amazing place to visit.. even better early in the morning.. the birds.. the poppies.. and no tourists!

 
And I met the American man.. again!  And on top of that, he is a professor from California!  He did not have any students with him as he so often has done in the past.. so he adopts me and walks me through Delphi offering so much incredible information and knowledge.. how lucky can I be.. really!? He tells me the best time to take photos is to get in early before the tourist buses... I said, I KNOW!!  Ha!  He tells me an area I can get a great photo, again in an area not allowed. By now an official is in the area, sees what we are up to, and we get in trouble... Darn!! But humorous that it's the professor, not the students this time.. Oh well, I will have to be happy with what I've got. ;-)

Amphitheaters are popular everywhere around this region.. and again.. I can't help myself but feel the need to entertain the ghost people..





The professor taught me about this orb.. it was supposedly had a smoke coming out continuously and mysteriously.  Worshippers would come from far and wide to hear a message from God through an oracle if they had a problem or big decison to make.  The female Oracle's would meditate around it, and speak in tongues.  The male "Priests" would interpret the messages.  (The one of the left is a reproduction as the original is in the museum)







Some of the messages were inscribed on the walls for everyone to read.. and remain today!~


Here is the original (or parts thereof..)  Sorry for the bad angle of the photo, there was a distraction in the background.. ;-)



















The most flourishing times of Delphi was from the 6th to the 4th Century BC.  There is so much to talk about, but I don't really want to make the blog a huge history lesson..  However, I hope you get a chance to visit here yourself if you havn't already.. it was so great and far above what I expected to see and learn.. and I have enjoyed every bit of it.

Needless to say, it's all incredibly fascinating to me.  I could have spent all day with the Professor, but I had to go back to my room, pack and get myself into Athens. 

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1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the Forum Romanum where you see people apparently staring at a bunch of rocks. But in fact trying to imagine what life was like there 2000 years ago.

    thx
    Peter

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