Second Time Around travel blog

Restored glory

Rare solitude

Good question

Ancient Delphi is one of the most serene and aesthetic places I have yet experienced. I'm sure the sparse crowds of the low season and the remarkable mid-winter sunshine were key elements of the experience.

Modern Delphi has a charm of its own. A €30 euro room with view balcony added to the ambiance.

The driving route from Delphi to Olympia was scenic, hugging the shore of the Gulf of Corinth.

After crossing the toll bridge at Patra, the route was considerably less scenic, but efficient.

Modern Olympia is asleep during the off season. Kind of like the way downtown Olympia, Washington, gets after 5:30 P.M. year around. One shop keeper was so surprised to see anyone walk by after dusk that she rushed out to ask us where we'd come from without the "come visit my shop" come-on that usually follows.

Ancient Olympia is aesthetic, but lacks the serenity one might expect of a sacred sanctuary. Perhaps the spirit of competition still permeates the environs. I could not believe the good fortune Mo and I had to each experience the Olympic stadium alone.

I happen to believe there is a truth about reincarnation and past lives. One of the rare moments of a sense I've "been here before" was at Delphi. It has a well-preserved theater, originally used for song contests and sacred enactments. Most of it was closed for preservation work, but I could walk out to stand near the stage, facing the seats. There, I smiled and said to myself, "Yes, I've been here." No doubt as a bit player to swell a scene or two.

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