Categories
Greece (Athens, Delphi)

Just Takin’ A “Delfie” Selfie

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A selfie in front of the Tholos at Delphi (say it Delfie)

“Delphi” rhymes with selfie

I didn’t know until yesterday that to pronounce Delphi like the Greeks, one pronounces it with the stress on the first syllable and with a long “e” sound on the second. Whoops. Silly me. If you pronounce it to rhyme with selfie, you’ve got it right.

So… I think it made perfect sense to attempt a Delfie selfie today when we visited the archaeological wonder. I don’t take many selfies (and by that I mean as few as possible), but this post includes two or three to take care of the issue for awhile.

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Another selfie in front of the Treasury of the Athenians

When we added Delphi to our list of must-see attractions, I had no idea we would be scouring over a steep mountainside full of pine and cypress trees. In fact, this is snow skiing country. The next town over, Arachova, offers skiing during the winter months. I guess I just didn’t realize how “Alpine” the Delphi would feel.

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Treasury of the Athenians

In a sentence or two, “Delphi could be described as a religious complex centered around the Oracle of Delphi that was located in the Temple Apollo,” according to a book we bought, Delphi and Its Museum, by Panos Valavanis. Delphi flourished during the Archaic and Classical period of Ancient Greece, roughly from the 6th – 4th centuries BC.

On the UNESCO World Heritage site placard near the entrance to the grounds, it reads:

“The archaeological site of Delphi is Panhellenic sanctuary with an international fame. Its remnants represent some of the foremost events of art and architecture. The sanctuary, which combines in a unique manner the natural and historical environment, is related to numerous, key events of Greek history that have an impact on the progress of civilization.”

It continues: “Inscription on this List confirms the outstanding universal value of a cultural or natural property which deserves protection for the benefit of all humanity.”

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Okay, not exactly a selfie, but a nice lady from Australia took this for us. We’re standing in front of the Temple to Apollo and the Serpentine Column.

Here are some major sites within the Delphi archaeological site:

  • The Treasury of the Athenians
  • Temple to Apollo
  • Theater
  • Stadium
  • Tholos at Delphi
  • The Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia

However, besides all these major sites, there are numerous other objects, foundations, walls, and monuments to distract and fascinate you. And don’t forget the magnificent natural beauty of the place.

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Theater on the left. Temple to Apollo is on the right. Clear down the hill you can see more ruins. This was taken on our way to the stadium all the way at the top of the site.

We took so many pictures at Delphi today that there’s NO WAY I could post them all. Here are a fraction of the photos we took at both the archaeological site and at the museum.

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Temple to Apollo is on the right. Other buildings (there are so many we couldn’t keep track of them all) are on the left.
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Carved inscriptions are on practically every surface.  Most of these were written by slaves who were guaranteed their freedom by Apollo, according to a book we bought in the museum.
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A closer view of the carved inscriptions.
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The long view of the wall. Most stones had inscriptions on them.
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Capitals that would have topped columns. They’re just here, there and everywhere.
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The Tholos, a round temple. This is the structure I’m standing in front of in the selfie at the top of this story.
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I took this to show the detail of the underside of the Tholos.
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The stadium clear up at the top of the site. Panhellenic Pythian Games were held here.
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We snacked on this stone bench over by the stadium. I think it could actually be a bench from the stadium itself. There are stone pieces everywhere. They had to fall there from something.
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Column drums that were stacked to form tall columns. That’s my purse next to one to show scale. In the background by the person in the pink shirt, is a base that these columns may have been stacked on.
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I thought this column was interesting because of its sharp edges. If you look closely, you’ll see carved inscriptions on the stones.
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A trough for carrying waters from the natural fountains on the mountain.
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It’s interesting. Right alongside some fire extinguishers and a storage chest, you’ll find ancient Greek columns. No big deal.

 

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And then we went to the museum.

 

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The Argos Twins, Cleobis and  Biton… Careful what you wish for. These were the boys whose mother asked the gods to bless them for carrying her to the temple of Hera. As a result, they were given the greatest gift… death at their finest moment.
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The Sphinx, a gift from the island of Naxos, given to Apollo Delphi to gain the gods’ favor.

 

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Aghias, son of Aknonis. An athlete (that’s why he’s nude) and shows how the ancient Greeks used contrapposto, which is an assymetrical arrangement of the body. Contrapposto allows a more natural stance.
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The bronze Charioteer is the grand finale of the museum.

We spent about four-plus hours total touring the archaeological sites and the museum. We started in about 9 a.m. and finished up around 1:30 p.m. The weather was very warm, but very nice in the shade.

We had about an hour before the tour buses arrived, so the sites really weren’t that crowded. And because many if not most people don’t go down to the Tholos of Delphi and the Sanctuary of Athena (which are located down the hill and separate from the main complex), we felt like we had a very thorough visit.

Tomorrow… on to Olympia!


Thanks for reading! Leave a comment if you’ve been to Delphi or if you have any selfie-taking skills to share! Follow my blog for more stories from our 2019 Greece trip.

Categories
Greece (Skopelos)

Stafilos Beach for the win

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…Stafilos had a dog, so that pushed it ahead of the pack

We visited four beaches (Glisteri, Glifoneri, Panormos, and Stafilos) during our three weeks on Skopelos Island and they each were clean, comfortable, and drop-dead gorgeous.

However, Stafilos Beach had a dog, so Stafilos for the win.

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Follow the signs down the hill after you exit the bus.
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The beach is big and beautiful.

When we visited Stafilos last Friday afternoon, a brown, wiry-haired dog made its rounds to the various beach-goers settled on towels and blankets. It greeted each visitor it met and then flopped down, soaking wet, and wriggled in the tiny pebbles. It was truly this dog’s dream come true, apparently.

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The dog cooling off in the water.

Never one to ignore an animal, Mitch and the little dog became fast friends. The dog sat with us on our towel and surveyed the kids and adults sunning, swimming, and snorkeling around us. And then she returned to the water and swam out to her owner anchored out in the cove. With her head just  a tiny brown dot on the surface of the water, she amazed us by soon returning to the beach for another dose of interaction with strangers.

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Mitch and man’s best friend

Stafilos is just a ten-minute bus ride from downtown Skopelos. Check the bus schedule board at the bus kiosk, arrive at the designated time, board and pay your 1.60€ when the attendant comes to you during the ride.

We headed out in the late afternoon and returned about two hours later.

Make sure you wear good shoes when you go, since you’ll have to walk about 500 yards or so downhill.

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The road down to Stafilos Beach looks like this…

The walk is steep, so watch your step. However, pause to catch the gorgeous views.

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…and this…
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and this.

Once you arrive at the beach, you can just spread out a blanket or towel at no charge or 2) pay 7€ for a beach umbrella and two wooden chaise lounges. You can see the umbrella section at the far left edge of the second photo in this story.

When it’s time to go, don’t forget you’ll have a hike back up the hill.

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The road back up the hill from Stafilos Beach looks like this…
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…and this.

There are a couple of tavernas you can visit on your walk up. These are casual cafes that serve fresh seafood, salads, and drinks.

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You may see some tiny churches on the hillside…

As you walk up, look around at the hillsides to see the occasional private Greek Orthodox churches. Here’s another one across from the bus stop:

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…or at the bus stop.

Also near the bus stop: chickens pecking underneath an olive tree. What a great scene!

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Chickens feeding beneath an olive tree.

We stood across the street in the shade and waited near this sign for the bus. It was right on time!

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And finally… the bus stop.


Thanks for reading again today! We are en route to Mycenae today via Athens. In fact, I’m writing this post in the Skiathos Alexander Papadiamantis Airport. Click like, leave a comment or follow my blog for more stories on the daily.