Atlanta to Delphi, Greece

May 30, 2015

Well, after much travel, no real adventures, but a lot of territory covered and time killed, we arrived in Greece!
We left Atlanta around 9:15 Thursday night, bound for Paris. An 8.5 hour flight with quite a bit of turbulence allowed a little bit (and I mean LITTLE) of sleep; the couple in the seats behind us singing “O Tannenbaum” (yes, I’m serious) did not help. But a bit of sleep, and we landed in Paris around 11:00 am. For the record, the Paris airport is not the easiest to navigate, but our hardy gang managed to get through alright, and find our departure gate, where we proceeded to kill the next six hours. Our attempt to buy a one-day pass to the Delta/Air France lounge was not successful, so it was shared space with the mass of humanity.
We boarded our next flight, and landed in Athens around 11:00 pm this time, and since we had passed into the EU in Paris, and had our passport stamped, all we had to do was collect luggage and meet our wonderful hostess Caterina. She and Niko, our driver, got us to the delightful Royal Olympic Hotel, right next to the Temple of Zeus, and we crashed after 1:00 am.
Fortunately we slept in, ate a late breakfast, and met Maria, our guide for the Greek leg of our trip, and headed out midmorning. A lunch stop, followed by another stop for some majestic views and pictures, and we moved on to our stop for the night, Delphi.
Delphi is known to Greeks as the “center of the universe,” because this is where the Greek god Apollo chose for his temple. Fascinating archaeological ruins are here, that for years (centuries?) were buried under landslides and had homes built on top of them until they were discovered and unearthed. Interestingly, here (as in other locations around the country), people would come to ask a question of the oracle, a woman kept in a trance and under the spell of “vapors” (since discovered to be underground streams heated by volcanic heat, now dormant), who would usually give a vague, ambiguous answer to your question. But people, desperate for direction, would travel to see the oracle, make lavish gifts, and produce a sacrifice, in the hopes of hearing direction.
Tomorrow we will visit the monasteries at Meteora, where (I hope) clearer answers to the questions of life are found!
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