This past Saturday, the whole gaggle of us got up and at ‘em early for Delphi, ready to leave at 9am. According to Dr. Fotopoulos (our native Greek/WSU professor, hereafter “Fotop”) the bus ride would take no more than two hours. Cool. I bring a little food and my computer to keep me occupied while half of the group slept on the way. Fotop didn’t come with us, he had already seen it a few times and wanted to go visit his family in Lamia. About twenty minutes out of Kamena Vourla, we stop at the battleground where the now familiar story of “300” took place. Everything seemed to be going well until the bus suddenly came to a halt in front of a shady looking restaurant. Turns out, the bus driver was lost. Two things:
1. You’re a bus driver. Learn your way around. Better yet, find out how to get there before you pick us up.
2. WE’RE TRYING TO GET TO DELPHI! We’re not asking you to take us to a remote village whose name isn’t found on any highway street signs.
The drive to Delphi reminded me of the drive to Pullman after Vantage; all we drove by were farms, power lines, and dirt.
After a second stop to ask for directions, a horrifying three-point turn off a vertigo-worthy precipice, and three and a half hours of driving, we finally made it to Delphi. Our tour guide was very nice, but didn’t seem ecstatic about us being late. She started us off with a tour of the museum to the side of the base of the sanctuary, where they preserve some pretty neat-o artifacts from the formerly grand center of the Greek world. The tour guide explained the different periods in Greek art, and key characteristics of each one. We learned the myths and historical accountings of various pieces in the museum, until we finally reached the end of the museum to see the bronze statue of Apollo. There’s a picture of it on facebook, but that hardly does it justice. It’s just before the one with the outline of the four horses. The following picture that looks like a model is what the sanctuary of Apollo looked like once upon a time. There remains a theater at the base, the home of the Delphic Oracle located halfway up, and the Delphic Games (precursor to the Olympics) were held in a stadium all the way at the top. The picture that looks like a rock with horizontal etchings on it is a section of what we would now consider a bulletin board, all the important news of the time was written there. It was pretty much an inferno that day, so I didn’t take too many pictures aside from those places.
All of us on the way down eagerly awaited the air-conditioned bus, and hurried down as fast as possible. We hopped on the bus and realized we were starving; the bus driver took us to a restaurant off the road. Thankfully, it was not the one he stopped at for directions earlier. I was fairly excited about the fact that this was going to be my first real restaurant experience in Greece. It was nothing fancy, but still. I got the chicken, and wasn’t too impressed. For 9.50 euro I got a boneless chicken patty with moderately soggy fries. Somewhat of a bummer.
We made it back to the hotel in only 2.5 hours. I have come to the realization that Greek time is about the same, if not worse, than island time. We had a bit of time before dinner to relax a bit, and come dinnertime, I had completely forgotten about my mediocre experience at the restaurant. Saturday night dinners are not taken lightly at our hotel. They had gyros, pizza, AND ice cream served buffet style.
The next day was spent lounging around and, shocker, doing homework. A bunch of us ended the afternoon with a drink at the café on the beach across from our hotel called Isabella. Late at night, they bump techno and American pop music and it gets pretty crazy, but during the day it’s a nice place to sit and chill.
So as you might imagine, 30 American college students are capable of making a lot of noise. Our rooms were scattered throughout the hotel, and often before we go out, we all meet in someone’s hotel room first. Management informed Fotop on at least four occasions that they had received noise complaints that originated from people in rooms around us. One woman even opened her door at 10:30pm Saturday when we were all headed out, and yelled “IS THIS HOW YOU BEHAVE IN YOUR COUNTRY?” Yesterday, we finally got the hotel manager to agree to move us all to the same wing of the hotel. This was what we all thought would happen in the first place anyway, and it’s working out better for both parties (pun) so far.
Then there was last night. Greece and South Korea (where our teachers are from) had a World Cup game last night, and went to a bar down the street to watch it. On their menu, they call a pint “a big glass of beer.” Definitely accurate.
We have a test in MgtOp tomorrow and a group project in IBUS due this week, but after that comes a week of freedom in Skiathos!