We managed to turn around and get back on track after a while, we were to take the incredible new bridge from Patras to the mainland and drive up from there.
Despite being a weekday the place had by far the most tourists we’ve encountered on our travels. Walking up the Sacred way, lined with pine trees up Mt Parnassus was like walking through time. The marble walkway took us up past many old sculpture bases, treasury buildings, stoa’s and more. All to give thanks to the Oracle for her help and guidance.
Past the ancient rock of the Sibyl (below top left) when older civilisations had their oracle,
past the Stoa set up by the Athenians to display captured weapons and shields (below, top right),
past the incredibly tall podium which once held a 26 foot bronze column of three intertwined snakes (taken by the Romans to Constantinople).
And finally up to the temple, passing the sacrificial altar outside. Inscribed on the temple was the phrase Know Thyself.
If you had an appointment you’d then walk into the grand white columned temple, the oracle would listen to your question, then inhale the vapours coming out of the rocks under the temple, chew some leaves and then speak in tongues. The priests surrounding her would interpret it. When Lysander the Spartan Victor of the Peloponnesian War consulted he was warned:
“Also the dragon, earthborn in craftiness coming behind thee”
He was slain from behind by Neachorus who had a dragon painted on his shield…
The temple today stands in ruins, but no less impressive a sight, and the view from the side of the mountain is stupendous. The museum was interesting especially because of the wonderful artists impression of the original site as Ancient Greeks would have encountered.
Sanctuary of Athena & a pirate pub
We found a fantastic little restaurant in town which overlooked the valley and sea, a lunch of olives, greek salad and wine of course!
Then retreated to Galixedes a tiny sleepy fishing town for some swimming. Luckily the water was warm enough to entice Greg, before we ate our last lovely meal in Greece at a old taverna which looked like a pirates pub.
All in all the Peloponnese is an incredible part of Greece, highly recommended for a relaxing holiday with much less tourists and a lot of exciting archeological ruins to visit. We can't wait to go back!