Burton Dane Travels

We're traveling through Europe and parts nearby for a year. We'll be posting our pix and adventures here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quite a day in Delfi

Must mention the night before the day as it was spectacular and serendipitous: students--a choir from Philidelphia and an orchestra from Oakland--were performing in an ancient square we happened to be walking past and so caught these fine young people experimenting with performing together for the first time in their trip through Macedonia!
The next morning started out in a fairly crappy, but still vacation-y way with the worst breakfast thus far--even the egg white was barely edible. I must say that the Hotel Hermes had a drop dead view of the mountains and gorge of olive trees stretching all the way to the Gulf of Corinth though. Before too long we were crawling the ruin of ancient Delphi, looking for the oracle (crack in the crust that emits gases and fumes) that possessed ancient priestesses and made them babble in tongues understood only by a priest. Believe it or not this was a semi-regular sight in the Peloponnese during the time of the Temple of Apollo (7000-100 B.C).
The temple pictured here is a famous shrine to Athena that has nothing to do with the Oracle but often inexplicably appears in literature for the Temple of Apollo. Athena had a powerful cult here especially during the Peloponnesian wars and she regularly hurled rocks from the surrounding mountains at folks. Watch out for the sun glinting off Mark’s freshly shaven head--he made the right choice for the day though as temperatures pushed 122 F. Luckily, we could still keep from melting the way the ancients did, by cooling ourselves in water along the way. Sacred water that the Oracle used to bathe in before she babbled.
We were also able to spend time in the air-conditioned museum (not open ‘till noon!), craning our necks around the package tourists to view remarkably Asian-influenced sculpture and metal bits found in Delphi not carried away by the British, the French or the Italians. It was back to the car en-route to Patras after that with a refreshing respite along the way where we took a soak in the Gulf of Corinth and stuffed ourselves with fried fish and retsina for the last time before taking the ferry to Venice. There was even time for a nice cool showing (in English!) of Pirates of the Caribbean 3--which absolutely rocked in our opinion, despite what the American reviews are saying. Whew!


  • At 12:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Love the new hair-dos, yours and Jules. Both looking great--you too Ben. GREAT PIXS, Love, Mom

  • At 6:10 PM , Anonymous Greenwalds said...

    How come Ben looks like he's shivering if it's 122 degrees. Has he seen the ghost of Delfi?

  • At 11:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Pirates 3 was lame. Except for lovely Johnny sailing on the sands in deadland. You must have been delirious from heat stroke.

  • At 11:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Oops, forgot to leave my name with my rude movie review. ps Mark looks better bald than Jules but Jules was way bolder, which counts for a lot. Sylvia


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