Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Going to visit the Oracle....

Early on Tuesday morning, I got picked up by a tour bus at the now-familiar Athinais Hotel in Athens and headed off NW of the city to start the tour.   We drove by what was left of the city of Thebes and continued on to Delphi and the Temple of Apollo where the Oracle had answered questions from the famous and the not-so-famous for over 500 years.   We first went to the nearby Delphi Museum and got a tour of  some of the amazing art works that had been discovered at the actual site which was a few hundred yards away.   Then we all walked to the ruins itself and slowly climbed up towards the temple of Apollo and to the well-preserved theatre just above it.   Ancient Delphi is built on a mountainside with imposing granite cliffs at his back and a sweeping view of the countryside below.  The Oracle would be perched on a tripod-like chair in the center of Apollo's Temple and be, apparently, in some kind of trance that had been generated by some fumes seeping up from the ground below.  She would say something cryptic and then the priests would interpret her answer for the questioner.   This entire area was really quite a size able complex, and it even had its own treasury house to store the constant stream of gold and other gifts that had to be offered to Apollo before his Oracle could be approached.    Really quite an amazing place.    Afterwards, the bus dropped me off to stay at a hotel in the nearby "modern" city of Delphi few hundred yards away from the archeological dig.   This city focuses on catering to the many tourists which, during the high season, make their way up the mountains to visit this very extraordinary area.   Since this city is, quite literally, perched on a cliff , one edge of it boasts an overlook that drops several thousand feet almost straight down.   I haven't seen that great of a precipitous drop since first visiting Glacier Point in Yosemite.   Naturally, the locals take advantage of this awesome view and have built many hotels, restaurants and bars along the closest street to the edge.   Incredible views of the valley below and of the Sea of Corinth in the distance.   I'll stay here for the night and get picked up by another bus for the trip up to the valley of monasteries....Meteora.  More later....

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