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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Delphi, Olympia and Kardamyli

It's almost scary how easy it was to pick up the rental car and make it out of Athens after watching lots of crazy driving in Athens.  Once you get out of the city, traffic just melts away and driving is fairly easy.  I can say this from the passenger seat.  Mark has actually been doing the driving!

-  Driving a car any bigger than our rental would be a liability.
-  Road signs and painted lines on the pavement seem to be just for decoration. 
-  You will be passed regularly going twice the posted speed.
-  Before passing you everyone will drive right up to your bumper.
-  No passing zones don't mean anything.
-  A single lane road can easily handle 3 lanes of traffic.
-  If it's paved you can drive on it.
-  When an old Greek woman gives you the evil eye, you are scared! Again, not me, Mark, but I was there to witness it and I was scared.

Delphi was amazing.  The ruins are set in the hillside and require a 470' elevation gain to see.  After being in the car 2.5 hours, William decided to run all the way up to the top and we were happy to let him.  There were several tour groups there, but I'm sure it's nothing like during the middle of the summer.  Most of the visitors stay near the bottom of the site and avoid the climb. 

We stayed in a great hotel in Delphi for the night before heading to Ancient Olympia.  Pitho Rooms has 8 rooms for rent.  George and Vicki were wonderful.  Their 3 boys were doing homework when we arrived.  George was born and raised in this little town and his family runs most of the establishments so he knows everyone.

The road between Delphi and Nafpaktos on the way to Ancient Olympia is just stunning.  It zig zags along the coast and the views of the Corinthian Sea are amazing.  As we drove along we came around a blind corner to see goats crossing the road.  William and I yelled "goat" as Mark slammed on the brakes.  We were being helpful in case he wasn't sure what those four legged animals were.  Just past the actual goat crossing was the sign warning us to watch for goats - a little too late.

We actually stopped in Nafpaktos and found street parking (it's always a free for all) and decided to walk around and find a snack before driving onto Ancient Olympia.  We found a local bakery that had a great time loading up on all kinds of cookies and breads and one very strange cream pastry.  William pointed to it in the case and the lady smiled and said "very good, fresh", so we tried it.  It may have been fresh but not so good.

Ancient Olympia is a fun site to visit because you can just imagine the first 100 Olympic Games being celebrated there.  The site has a lot of energy.  The boys loved running in the first Olympic Stadium (it's about 200 meters long).  I didn't see any reason to run with them since I would not have been allowed entry to the stadium or the games because of the "no women" rules.  So I volunteered to take photos instead.

1 comment:

  1. How much fun is that... Great experience for you and your boys who are old enough to treasure it always. As for the driving rules you listed above, I think I will copy them and show them to some of my students when they complain about Parisian driving ;-) - Enjoy the rest of your trip!