Ancient Olympia and Patras Peloponnese Peninsula 29 to 30 June 2013
After leaving the Kato Allissa Camp site with its 100 year old olive tree, we headed north up the western coast of the Peninsula, heading towards Ancient Olympia (not to be confused with Olympus in north Greece).
For over 1000 yrs Olympia was renowned as a religious and athletic centre. Though it flourished in Mycenaean times, its historic importance dates to the coming of the Dorians, at the beginning of the 1st
millennium BC. They bought the worship of Zeus. The 1st
Olympian Games, the forerunner of the Olympic Games took place here in 776 BC but was banned in SD 393 by Emperor Theodosius 1, who took a dim view on the pagan festival!!
The site had a training pavilion, a stadium where the races were run, and temples. There were a lot of these ruins partially standing. The strategies regarding these ruins around Greece is to show what and where the buildings were and what they were used for and the parts of the buildings (rather than rebuild the structures), including statues and building freezes are stored in the on-site museum. This site was no
exception. The Museum was very impressive.
After several hours here, we drove through Pirgos which was very touristy, and headed further north along the beautiful coastline up to Patras.
We stopped at Patras for some food shopping and discovered it was a very attractive village with Olympic statues dotted around, many tourist shops, but well kept town, unlike the bigger towns/cities in Greece.
We then tried to find the ferry to cross the entry to the Gulf of Corinth. We wanted to go on the ferry so that we could get a good view of the new suspension bridge that has been build recently. We set out GPS to the Port at Patras but that was where the big ships left to go across to Italy. After 1 ½ hours of driving and asking locals, we also guessed that the ferry was close to the new bridge – it was!! It was a little frustrating as we wasted that time and we wanted to get to Delphi in good time.
All was well however and we drove on to the ferry after discovering there was no ticket office. All you had to do was find the
large car ferry that doesn’t have its gates closed to vehicles, and drive on. It’s so easy when you know! We bought the tickets on board.
After about 30 minutes we were driving off and on our way to Delphi.
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