Mediterranean Cruise - Ancient Olympia

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June 12th 2016
Published: July 1st 2016
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Our first excursion today. Weather sunny. We had booked a small tour privately for our visit to Ancient Olympia. We drove through the countryside past mountains of plastic bags filled with rubbish on the side of the road. Apparently the dump is full and a new site cannot be agreed on so it is being collected from the region and dumped in the countryside.

We first visited the Museum of Archaeology as our small group had arrived before the larger buses. A great museum and we were lucky to have it almost to ourselves. The museum holds a 4th century statue of Hermes of Praxitelis and many other relics and statues excavated from the site. We then walked to the site of Ancient Olympia where the first Olympic games were held in 8th century BC. Overtime the site was buried under alluvial deposits and based on the evidence of shells it is believed that several tsunamis may have impacted the site. The original running track, where the spectators sat, the gymnasium and bath complex can be seen. We saw the site where they light the torch for the modern Olympics which was a tradition only begun in 1936 by Hitler.

Finished the tour with a buffet lunch of Greek delights washed down with a white wine. Delicious and traditional.

The captain of the boat (Kiwi) held a reception tonight for the Aussies and Kiwis on board. Buy your own drinks at Happy Hour prices but canap├ęs served. Good way to meet some fellow travellers including Canberrans.

Next stop Nafplion.

Additional photos below
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Headless statues were constructed so that the mask of a new leader could be added instead of creating a whole new statue each time.

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