Corinth Mycenae Parthenon Delphi Knossos Ag Galinia Gornia Final Days

Delphi

We spent the night in a lush, cheap hotel with Moorish motif in Patras, having driven across the peninsula in view of snowcapped mountains on either side of the Gulf of Corinth. The next morning (Phil and Rosalind still with us) we took the ferry from Rion to Antirion across the Gulf and drove up to Delphi: a drive more spectacular than that along Highway One in California, or the Amalfi Drive. Yellow wildflowers blooming under the Sacred Olive Groves of Apollo, steep cliffs looking out over the coast, curving roads punctuated by the little shrines that the Greeks erect to commemorate sites of accidents - all very Greek and unforgettable. We bought sausage and local cheese and (of course) yogurt and honey for lunch, and picnicked overlooking the Temple of Athena Pronaia, before visiting the ruins at Delphi proper. Perhaps we were a bit "ruined" by then: for the first time I wished we did have a guide to lead us through their confusion.

 

In Arachova, next to Delphi, we bought wool coats and deplored the American ski bums staying at our cheap hotel - Mount Parnassus is a ski resort these days. We’d learned by then that tavernas were somewhat like cafeterias: go to the back near the kitchen and choose your food from the dishes displayed there. Both Jeannette and I like Greek food, so this was no problem for us, though by then I think Phil and Rosalind were yearning a bit for some good old English food, and ate tins of sardines and marmite in a hostel rather than joining us. We had some local cheese, fried, as an appetizer. In Arachova, perched on a hillside, I saw the utility of the ubiqutous donkeys: they could maneuver the steep streets much more easily than our little car.

On our drive back to Athens the next day we stopped at the Osous Loukous monastery, full of charming Byzantine mosaics. We couldn’t find the "triple way" where Oedipus had killed his father, reputed to be nearby. I think it’s covered by a freeway.

 

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