Monday, March 24, 2008

Dephi - 17 March 2008

Theatre at Delphi
We had been advised that if you only make one trip out of Athens, it should be to Deplhi, ancient home of the Delphic Oracle. Taking a guide tour there will cost €93 pp. Temple ruinsHowever, having found a hint on the web on how to find Bus Terminal B where the Delphi bus left Athens we decided to do it on the cheap by taking the intercity bus. Total cost: €32 pp for return fare and entry (the official tour did include lunch).

Unfortunately the hint on the web was a little short on detail once we had arrived at the Kato Patisia Metro station and finding Terminal B was a little more difficult than we expected. Click here for a map of the route we took. Clearly there are shorter ways to walk.

LevadiaThe bus trip is three hours through mainly flat agricultural land until you get to Levadia where the road climbs up over a mountain pass and through a very picturesque (and very touristy) town of Arachova near the ski resort on the slopes of Mt Parnassus before descending to Delphi.

Circular TholosUnlike the other Greek ruins we have visited, this site is on the slopes of a mountain so a fair bit of climbing is involved to get to the top where one finds one of the best-preserved stadia in the country. Below that is a large theatre and over the road a gymnasium and some more temples including a circular tholos of unknown use.

Delphi StadiumDelphi Stadium

The return bus trip was a bit of a trial as the Athenian traffic meant that we spent an extra hour crawling into the city. Since the walk back to the metro station was about 20 minutes and all uphill we decided we would take a bus from outside the Terminal. We did not have long to wait before a bus with the correct route number came along so we hopped aboard. After a little while the smarter, female, member of the party asked a valid question, "Are we going in the correct direction?" We finally established in broken English that we had, in our haste, unfortunately chosen a bus going out of the city instead of towards the centre. Time to alight and try the other side of the road!

The bus route took us close enough to our hotel and the short walk back took us past the Alexandra the Great restaurant where we rounded off a wonderful day with an excellent meal.

Many more photos here

No comments: