It never fails to surprise me what cool photos you can take with an iPhone. We dropped almost a grand on a brand new Nikon DLSR before our recent trip to Greece, and yet some of my favorite pictures from the trip were taken on instagram.
Thanks to my stupidly choosing to do the software update Apple released without backing up my phone first, I lost a lot of those pictures when we got home. However, the ones I'd uploaded from the road to instagram were safe. Let's experience Mainland Greece via instagram!
Country side between Athens & site of Ancient Delphi.
Treasury of Athens, restored at Delphi.
Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
Tholos at Delphi.
So the site of Ancient Delphi was life-changing. First of all, it's set in a majestic mountain range - such an amazing backdrop. Secondly, it's one of the better preserved ancient sites, so there is quite a lot to see and you don't have to strain as hard to imagine what it must have looked like when it was a thriving place of worship. In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, and a major sanctuary of the god Apollo. It was thought of by the Greeks as the center of the earth (the "navel"), and it was our first stop on a roadtrip of the mainland, and an incredible way to begin our tour of the ancient sites.
Just one question: why have Americans not thought to season potato chips with oregano?
We ate many bags of these along the way.
I cried at Epidaurus. Yes, I know I'm a nerd. Aside from being a celebrated healing center, the ancient city of Epidaurus is also home to the best-preserved Classical theatre. It was amazing and so . . . ALL THERE - just like it hadn't been thousand of years since it was carved out of the mountainside. This was one ancient site that was thankfully almost empty and we just sat (like in the picture above) and took it all in. I'm sitting almost all the way at the top of the grand theatre, and I could hear the tourist you see standing "center stage" talking in a whisper. Incredible.
A better shot of just how big Theatre at Epidaurus is really.
Along the way I became addicted to fresh Greek olives. Canned olives just can't compare. I do not recommend, however, trying a green olive off the tree - which both Tim and I did at Delphi when no one was looking. They are the most bitter little buggers you can imagine.
This is the stadium at Ancient Olympia. If you're any fan of the Olympics, you should try to go here one day to pay homage. . . it was also incredible (I'm running out of words that mean "incredible"). There was no real "seating" even in ancient times so this stadium is pretty much intact. Thousands of men just sat on the lawn to watch the foot races. You can even still step on the marble starting and finishing lines, which is what this tour group was doing when I snapped the picture. We arrived at Olympia at about 8:30 in the morning, and by some stroke of genius I suggested we hurry out to the stadium first, to see if we could catch it before hordes of people showed up. We were so thankful we did so -- we had it all to ourselves! Well, with the exception of these two precious pups who were having their own race . . .
After a few days on the road, we stopped over for two nights in the harbor town of Nafplion. It was a beautiful old town with Venetian influences, as you can see with all the old Pensions (mansions). Unfortunately, it also had a cat problem, and the whole town smelled like a cat box, if I'm to be totally honest.
Harbor in Nafplion.
Church in Nafplion.
Old pensions (mansions) in Nafplion.
Peirene's Springs at Ancient Corinth. It was said to be a favored watering-hole of Pegasus, sacred to the Muses. Poets would travel there to drink and receive inspiration. The legend goes that Peirene became a spring because of the tears she shed in lamentation for her son Cenchrias, who was unintentionally killed by Artemis. What was really amazing is there is STILL RUNNING WATER BACK IN THERE. Um, yeah.
Last stop: Athens, the dirtiest city on earth. There were dogs roaming everywhere. We couldn't tell if they were all strays or not, but they all acted as if they owned the place. There were even dogs and cats on top of the Acropolis! I liked how this dog was lying in the middle of the street like he was Boss.
World Traveler check point. Check!
One last glimpse of the Parthenon before we head home!
Thanks for taking the journey with me.
Thanks for taking the journey with me.