Thursday, 31 May 2012

In search of the Sibyl... (or the Sphinx?)

A visit to Delphos

Lowering grey clouds, blustery wind -- just the weather for climbing up to Delphos. We caught a bus from Itea (sea level) and ascended via many a hairpin bend to the small town of Delphi (Delfi). There we alighted, together with Steve, from the UK, also on his boat (a Vancouver) and sailing towards Kekira (Corfu) with many sea stories behind him...

We walked up and down (roller-coaster effect) through the small town and then entered the site past the Archaeological Museum (of which more later) and started the climb. The highest "remains" is the stadium, and on the steep climb you encounter huge lumps of crumble from temples and a wonderfully intact theatre.
Some pix:

Here is the theatre -- most inviting, a visiting Frenchman declaimed a little Phedre for his delighted (French) audience...

As we advanced, so did the rainclouds. But we were not to be deterred. And so reached the stadium (urgently requiring weeding!) where we sheltered beneath an ancient fir tree. Lots of very pretty wild flowers growing up here, and mulberry and other deciduous trees mingled with the evergreens.

Above, temple for Apollo, which has been restored.Various earthquakes and fires have wreaked their toll on this once enchanted haunt of gods. (Well...) No sign of the Sibyl.
But a most magnificent Sphinx, removed from her pillar and placed for safe-keeping inside the museum.
She has a lovely face, definitely a lady with whom to engage in discourse ...

And of course, the beautiful Antinous, lover of emperor Hadrian, has his niche...

Outside, swarms of thin stripey cats waiting for the tourists to feed them... or possibly, guarding mysterious secrets while the Sybil sleeps.
Then down into the town again and a very fine Greek lunch (moussaka, spaghetti and salad, followed by Greek yogurt and coffee) while waiting for the bus back down to Itea.

It's the location that is so memorable. High high looking down to the sea -- and enclosed by immensely steep rugged rock. Requires stout shoes and no heavy bags!

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