A May 2002 trip
to Delphi by billmoy
Quote: The modern town of Delphi, with a tiny population in the range of 2500 persons, is 178 kilometers northwest of Athens. The ancient area of Delphi lies just to the east along the rocky slope of Mount Parnassos.
Some of the beautiful images of Delphi are courtesy of my good friend and frequent travel companion, local Chicago architect Marius Ronnett.
I ordered something that seemed to be a cross between a pizza and a croissant, with bacon and cheese on top. It was not bad, but it seemed a little dry because I was extremely thirsty from hiking through the archaeological sites. My dessert was a pastry with a huge dollop of sweet filling consisting of honey and crushed nuts. The sweetness, texture and amount of the filling overwhelmed the poor pastry surrounding it, and I could only nibble a little bit at a time. The rich and dense glop of filling was nearly the size of a hockey puck and lasted several days, as I was able to mix some of the sweet concoction with bread and yogurt on subsequent days.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 24, 2002
Pavlou and Freiderikis 32
Once you pass the admissions booth (displaying a few souvenirs for sale), you will walk through the Agora with a few minor relics from an Early Christian church. Keep an eye out for stray cats and dogs in these quiet areas. Then proceed upwards along the paved Sacred Way past a variety of votive offerings, monuments and treasuries, including the reconstructed Treasury of the Athenians. Watch your step, or a guard will blow a whistle to announce that you are stepping on a relic that should not be stepped upon!
The centerpiece of this site is the Temple of Apollo, dating from 490 BC. Six Doric columns have been re-erected upon the rectangular base of the temple to create a majestic impression of what the temple looked like. The fluting on the columns looks finer on one side than on the other, perhaps illustrating the wear and tear caused by the harsh local elements.
Continue upward on the pathway to see the grand amphitheater (4th Century BC), with 35 terraces of stepped seating. You will admire the views around these two major constructions, despite the large tour groups camped about.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 24, 2002
Archaeological site of Delphi
The stadium is one of the best-preserved in Greece, with rows of stepped seating around the elongated oval. The stadium was excavated relatively recently, around 1950. Visitors can pretend to be celebrated ancient track stars in the tollbooth-like starting gates and crossing the finish line. Plays are performed at the stadium every summer during the Festival of Delphi.
There was a film crew there to capture the serene state of the stadium. One fellow was graciously rounding up a few assorted visitors and asking them to step aside for a few minutes in order to have a pure, pristine image of the stadium with no people in it.
The most prominent feature is the elegant round "tholos" (4th Century BC) that has an ethereal "Stonehenge" quality to it. The original round temple had 20 marble columns in the Doric style atop a stepped base, but most of them have been reduced to column stubs and bases. Currently the pieces forming the three reconstructed standing columns have a patchwork quality, with an appearance like that of a military camouflage uniform. These three columns support a partial entablature, while the lower courses of a partial circular wall rest on the stepped base. These partial elements give a remarkable hint at what the original intact tholos may have looked like. Unfortunately, no one is sure about the exact purpose or origin of the picturesque tholos.
Also in this deserted field is the ruins of the Old and New Temples of Athena. The older of the two has old Doric elements dating from the 6th Century BC. This area is a nice place to contemplate and enjoy the peaceful surroundings because you will rarely be overrun by hordes of tourists.