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July 19th 2009
Published: July 22nd 2009
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DAY 99

We are leaving Olympia this morning via train. It is a newer station but this doesn't guarantee the train will be on time. We are once again in luck as the train is on time. The ride is only 30 minutes to Pyrgo where we catch a bus to Delphi which will take an additional 4 hours.

Delphi is a very small ancient city of Greece, situated in a rocky valley north of the gulf of Corinth, on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassus, site of a famous Oracle in the Temple of Apollo. The site was supposed to be the centre of the Earth and was marked by a conical stone, the omphalos (navel).

We had lunch under the shelter of 2 huge oak trees that provided the needed shade and with a slight breeze we enjoyed the meal.

Then half of the group including, Us, Yvonne, Yoshiko, Gloria and Regan all took taxis to the Monastery of St. Luke. This working monastery has been in existence for over 10 centuries. It is located on the west slopes of Mount Helikon near ancient Stiris. It has been inhabited by Byzantines, the Franks, the Catalan and Turkish conquerors. During the Greek Uprising in 1821 is was the base for the freedom fighters.

St. Luke settled in this area and founded a monastic community in 946AD and died here in 953AD. His body lays in state here in the church. It is rumored that his relic has brought about many miracles and many journey here to be healed. So the complex has been enlarged and rebuilt over the centuries to a well preserved site that is listed in the UNESCO list of properties included in the World Heritage List.

We returned just in time for a quick shower then off to dinner. The evening progresses after dinner to the only night club in town. And for the small village it was surprising to find such a thing.

AND WE DANCED THE NIGHT AWAY. Wow, we all hit the dance floor on arrival. There is a section of the room two steps up from main dance floor and we claim it. They had a variety of music to suit us all and we all showed our prowess on the dance floor. The locals offered to show us some Greek dancing and we jumped at the chance. We haven't had the opportunity to be involved in this as yet on our trip. The two guys did some dancing and it was amazing and then it was time for all of us to join and we were off dancing in a large group arms across each others shoulders in a long line snaking around the room. 1.30am and we are done. Our legs are numb and we have a big day of sightseeing ahead so we call it a night and Angie and Francine were the last one to call it quits.

DAY 100

We have an early morning tour to the Delphi ruins. The early inhabitants go back the the 11th C BC and they worshiped the mother earth and not until the 9th C. BC did the worship of Apollo begin. This site was known to be the center of the world and a very holy site. Each of the states had a treasury built here to accept gifts from their area for the God Apollo; Athens being the largest and the nicest with ancient songs written on the walls. There was also a wall where slaves names were written for them to become slaves to the gods. This was the only way to make a slave a free man. Even in the modern Greek church rituals it is said that the members are the slaves of god, using this reference as they did in ancient times.

The temple of Apollo housed the famous oracle. The oracular messages were spoken by a priestess seated on a golden tripod, who uttered sounds in a frenzied trance. The inspired trance was said by the ancient Greeks to be induced by vapors from beneath the temple's floor; these may have been ethylene or other petrochemical fumes rising through faults that ran beneath the temple. The priestess's utterances were interpreted to the questioner by a priest, who usually spoke in verse. So people from the ancient world would travel from all over the known world to ask the oracle a question. This answer was given in obscure answers that could be interpreted in different ways. Thus the oracle was never wrong.

The temperature today was 38/100. We were going to go quad running in the afternoon but the heat of the day was just too much for us. There were only four taxis in the entire town and three were hired to drive to Athens. So it would have required that we go in groups for the 20 minute ride to the Quad runners shop. So Francine, Angie and Yvonne decided not to go and that allowed others who had never done it go without the long wait. Angie went back and took a nap, while Francine blogged.

Francine was using the internet in the hotel lobby when another of our group Pearle took a fall on an uneven surface in the lobby. Fran AKA Florence Nightingale helped calm Pearle and make her comfortable. Pearle had landed on her knee and was in a great deal of pain. By the time our tour leader returned from quad biking she was in her room and resting. She had fluid on her knee and our leader was arranging to have a doctor look at her when we arrived in Athens.

Dinner this evening was in a restaurant with a beautiful view of the mountains and sea / bay. No dancing tonight, we have to pace ourselves and get ready to travel to Athens in the morning.

Additional photos below
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His body is fully covered except for his hands, that seem to be well preserved.

His body at one time was laid to rest in this crypt.

This bay made ancient Delphi very easy to vist from all areas of the known world.

Yoshika, Pearle, Yannick, Francine

Frangie & The Tassie Devil try to play Ozzie rock. Delphi DJ steps in.

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