Thursday, September 10, 2009


Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 Walking the roads of the ancient gods….

Slept fairly well but woke with a headache; realized about 4 pm that it was probably from the wine last night. Dressed and headed out to find some breakfast; no food with this hotel room but at 45 euros for the night, that’s ok. We found a bakery and purchased extra large croissants that were filled with a chocolate pudding. Then over to the coffee house under our hotel for coffee for me, chocolate for Jim and water for both of us; it made a nice breakfast as we sat outside and watched the town waking up.

We then got my computer and walked back to the Internet CafĂ©; it was empty except for two employees and they were very happy to let me sign on using my own computer. After nearly half an hour of trying we couldn’t get it to work so I ended up signing on and checking emails on one of the computers. The boys were very apologetic that they couldn’t get mine to work. We talked a bit and he told me he lives in Patra and is here to attend the university. Ah, that explains where all the people came from last night. Also told me that his great, great, great grandfather (maybe even more greats) was a famous general in the War of Independence in 1821; he is named after him and he wrote down his name for me so that I can check it out on the computer website: Makrigionnis, he showed me a photo of him that he had on his computer.

In the meantime; Jim not only video taped the Museum; the Museum Curator closed the Museum and took Jim on the back of his motor scooter to see the site of the house that Lord Bryon died in 1824; only three months after his arrival in Greece. But the fact that he came rallied the world to support the cause of the Greeks in their war against the Ali Pasha, a Turkish Ruler. And, he’d found an English version of Time Magazine with a ten page spread on the California Fires. Told us most everything we needed to know about the fires and our future in California.

The weather today is overcast and windy; but by noon the sun was also shining through the clouds. We headed out of Messolongi about 10:30 in the morning. Headed the wrong way as I was busy reading the Time Magazine instead of the map; but the good news is that’s how we found the salt beds and hills of salt. Turned around and found the correct roads as we continued south and to the east this morning. By noon we were back in the area of Patra and that magnificent bridge that I sent photos of to all of you about a week ago.

Suddenly we realized that we were heading across the bridge! NO…STOP….we don’t want to go there! Also the fee to cross is 10.50 euro each way! Saw a parking area and went in there….I walked over and yelled to the nearest toll booth that we didn’t want to cross the bridge; how do we exit? She told me to go to the phone booth and press “2”. Sure enough, they had a telephone booth with three buttons only. They came on line and after I explained my problem they told us to bring our passports and car papers to the glass building on the other side of the road. We had to climb up the two story bridge, walk across and down the other side. There they completed a form that we had to sign and then back across the bridge to our car. We went through the toll booth, she smiled at us, and then immediately off on a service road that got us back on our route. I can tell from how easy it was; we are definitely not the only ones that have had this problem!

Back on the road to Nafpaktos, we are now on the same road that we drove last Tuesday after leaving Patra where we dropped off our grandson. Again, we could see that a large fire had burned the hillside behind the town. The road follows the coastline all the way to Itea, in and out along the base of the mountains. Mines dot the roads, fish farms are in many coves, long and broad beaches are empty this time of year; and of course: roadside memorial boxes on all the curves. We stopped at a pottery shop along the road and saw new ones for sale; now we know which the newest boxes are.

We finally arrived at our destination for today around 3 pm: Delphi, an ancient site for worship and prophecy. Located high in the mountains on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos and overlooking the Gulf of Corinth, it offers a stunning setting and inspiring ruins. The ancients regarded Delphi as the center of the world. According to mythology Zeus released two eagles at opposite ends of the world and they met here. First the French and then other countries have worked at preserving this site. Now it is a World Heritage-listed site.

First we visited the 4th century BC Temple of Apollo, then walking up the theatre that is still in very good condition. From there we continued up to the top and the site for the stadium, the best preserved in all of Greece, even to the etched-stone starting blocks where sprinters began a race. We enjoyed walking this path with people from Texas and took turns taking photos for each other.

Back down the paths for a second look at everything and then Jim went into the Museum where he saw many treasures and especially important to him was the Charioteer; a bronze statue of the Charioteer, from the dedication by Polyzalos, the tyrant of Gela in Sicily 478 or 474 BC.

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When he arrived at the car I had cleaned things up, purchased some sandwiches for dinner and was just about ready to start reading my novel. We ate and then headed further down the hill to the Sanctuary of Apollo. Walked down the hill for a close up view of what we’d seen from a distance on the hill. Very impressive and it is the photo used frequently on publicity pieces for Delphi.

It was just about dark as we drove into the mountain city, and ski resort area, of Arahova to find a hotel for the night. Ended up at a nice hotel called Hotel Arahova Inn, they are so busy we found the manager asleep on the couch and had to wake him to get a room. But it’s a nice place and we’ll enjoy spending the night at only 60 euros (because the high winter season has not started yet) including breakfast.

Interestingly enough…only one electrical outlet again, thank goodness we have that extension cord with us.

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