Delving into Delphi.
The historical archaeological site of Delphi, otherwise known as The Navel of The Earth dates back to the 7th century BC. It was the cultural and religious centre of Ancient Greece and the ruins of the temple of Apollo are situated here. Delphi began to decline after 393 CE when due to the rise of Christianity, all pagan temples were closed. In 1880 CE, French archaeologists “rediscovered” Delphi and now it is second only to The Acropolis as the most visited tourist site in Greece.
We travelled by bus for our one day guided tour to Delphi, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and included a visit to the Archaeological Museum located at the site. Our bus load was a mixture of French and English speaking tourists and our tour guide was very busy, explaining everything in English and then again in French. I had always considered French an elegant language but by the end of that day, I was beginning to wonder about its elegance and actually felt a bit sorry for our guide, so so so so many words! But she did a great job.
Back in Athens we were staying within walking distance of the Plaka which is the oldest district of Athens and has been continuously inhabited for over 3000 years. Full of quirky shops and restaurants/cafes, it sits within the shadow of the Acropolis and we traversed its narrow cobbled streets several times soaking up the history as well as the present lively vibe. We climbed to the top of the Acropolis (5th Century BC) home to the temple of Athena from where Athens derives her name.
At the base of the Acropolis is Mars Hill and I cannot tell you how wonderful it was for me to climb that rocky outcrop and stand where the Apostle Paul stood, with the Acropolis in front of him on the higher rocky outcrop and the breeze from the ocean coming behind him and carrying his voice to the crowd below. And there he spoke to the Athenians about all their temples and statues to their gods and their altar inscribed To an Unknown God! and he started to tell them about the God who made the world and everything in it. Paul tells them that this God is not far from any one of us …and that in Him we live and move and have our being and that we are His offspring. You can read this in Acts Chap 17.
As a nod to our son who at that time was in the Navy, we also took a tour to Cape Sounion where the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon stand. It is interesting to note that even the pagans of the ancient world, who had a god for everything, realised that the order of the natural world, seasons, storms, rains, droughts, crops and winds were not controlled by the force of humans.
We absolutely LOVED Greece. The people, although in severe financial times were warm and friendly. Since it was our last stop before the long trip home we were getting rid of our Euros and so left some good tips in Athens. At one particular restaurant where hubby had left a particularly generous tip, the owner came to the door to farewell us saying, “You’re a gooood man”. I agree.