After spending two introductory days in Athens, we headed north on a two day tour to Delphi and Meteora. It was my first time ever on an organised tour bus! It was nice not having then to worry about transportation or lodging. Plus we got to meet and talk with other travellers. A lot of them had done many tours like this before, so I was feeling like a bit of newbie.
Not knowing much about Greece geographically I didn’t know where these sites were located on the map, and therefor I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. To get to Delphi it was around four hours on the bus, traveling through mountains and the country side. And then from Delphi to Meteora it took us another three or four hours. That was much longer on the bus than I had anticipated.
But the ride was beautiful and I was so glad that we took the trip and had the opportunity to see more of Greece than just city life in Athens, because the country is gorgeous!
We rode through beautiful mountains, saw thousands upon thousands of olive trees. The amount of olive trees reminded me of Munnar, India, where all the tea trees grow. It was beautiful.
We passed through an adorable little ski town high up in the mountain. I now have a new destination to add to my list after that…
So we arrived to Delphi. The scenery was breathtaking, way up in the mountains, walking through ancient Greek ruins.
Delphi has a lot of history and many things took place there.
The Temple of Apollo once sat there, now almost all destroyed.
It was also the place where people would travel from all over to receive prophecies from the Oracle. Our tour guide told us that at first prophecies were only given on one day out of the year, and then in later times more frequently, at once a month.
The most interesting part to me, was the part about the oracles and the method in which their prophecies came to them. The oracle was always a woman. People believed that the gods spoke to her. It was thought to be part of the myth that fumes would rise from the middle of temple’s floor and from those fumes the oracle would then begin to make her prophecies. And it’s true. Fumes did come from the center of temple’s floor, ethylene to be exact. She would breath in the fumes and rather than being possessed by Apollo she would go into a sort of epileptic trance…
Our tour guide also mentioned to us that she would have spies in the city to get the scoop on all of her customers before they visited.
I’m not sure exactly but I think that the carvings in the picture above are stories, and they cover almost the entire surface of the retaining wall of the temple. It was truly amazing to see that.
There was also a theater.
That was our trip to Delphi. The only thing that took away from the experience was how crowded it was with tourists. A lot of pushing and dodging selfie sticks.
Next stop, Meteora! 🙂