Friday, November 27, 2009


The bus ride to Delphi from Athens was pretty short - about 3 hours I think. The scenery gradually rolled into dusty green hills which eventually loomed into mountains as we arrived in the town of Delphi. It's an absolutely lovely town! Very quaint and small, built right into the hills. It's definitely a town that uses tourism as a main source of income, but that didn't detract from it's charm. I can imagine it wouldn't be as nice if it were crawling with tourists in high summer, but being the middle of October perhaps there weren't so many people. The view from the balcony of our hotel was great. We looked right down into the valley where there was a flat lake edged round by a decent-sized town. The air had a dusty quality, making the distant view a bit hazy. It was still quite hot and the sun was - as it had proven to be so far in Greece - very intense. Our hotel itself was a really cool place. They seemed to have just gathered up any knick-knacks that caught their fancy and shoved them onto every bureau, table, and counter top they had. There were vases filled with fake flowers, some dotted with splashes of glitter. The walls were hung with Greek replica masks as well as Venetian masks and other 3-D art. They seemed to like candles and had quite a few ones candles scattered about. The reception guy was really friendly and the room was pretty nice. As you can tell, we were quite pleased with the whole area. Oh, don't let me forget about the delicious gummy candies they had at the front desk. Practically every time we left the room we made sure to grab one. After some relaxing and enjoying of our room we decided food was in order. We set out with different goals in mind: Robyn wanted a salad while Chuck and I wanted cheap gyros. It seemed that we weren't going to be finding any place that offered both, so we ended up splitting up. Chuck and I went to a cute "mom and pop" place where we were told to sit and wait after we had ordered our gyros. It's funny how they do that over here - it sounds like it might be rude, but it doesn't actually feel that way. It's more like your Mom telling you to sit and wait for the delicious cookies that are about to come out of the oven, baked with love. While waiting we saw some sort of camera crew strolling down the street, focused on some made-up woman and a jovial looking older man. They passed by and we wondered what they were filming. To our luck, one of the camera-guys came into the restaurant sucking down the last bits of a frappe. We heard him speak English and Chuck asked what they were filming. It was some show called Authentic Food and they were doing a segment on Greece. I've never heard of it, but still, very cool. Through further conversation we discovered that he had gone to Full Sail (a technical school) in Orlando! Gosh, what a small world! That was the only excitement of the night though. We wished him luck, got our food, and met back up with Robyn. The rest of the night was spent in the hotel room.

The hotel breakfast on the 11th was pretty good. Cheese and bread and pastries and cereal. Today was our day to go see the ruins at Delphi, so we packed down the food and got ready for the day. Half of the ruins are really close to the town, while the other half are a few kilometers away. We opted to explore only the closer ones. The ruins are apparently home to a ton of stray cats. They casually hang out on the concrete benches and skulk through the bushes just at the edge of all the human activity. Some were scared of people and ran away if you even look at them, but others were very sweet. One orange teenage-kitty gave us snuggles for a few minutes before we went into the site. It was just our luck that the altar area was closed during our visit due to "technical reasons," whatever those would be at a 2000+ year old ruin. On the bright side, this meant that we got to go in for free. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, eh? Robyn spent her time lingering among a tour group, listening to the history of the ruins while Chuck dashed ahead of us to be the first to the top. This left me somewhere in between, wandering alone through the somewhat suffocating crowd of tourists wondering what all the different bits of stone and foundation were. I met Chuck somewhere near the top on his way back down ad he told me it was all roped off up ahead. I went up anyways and got as good a shot of the altar pillars as I could, but there was really nothing else to see. So I met Chuck back at the entrance where we watched cats until Robyn found us. We wanted to go to the museum but decided against it when we saw the price. Robyn, with her student discount, checked out the museum on her own and Chuck and I wandered back into town. We found a small, delicious looking restaurant that had both gyros and greek salads on the menu. If only we had found it the night before! Not being hungry right then we made note of the place and headed back to the hotel. We had plans to go out later and walk around some more, maybe check out where all the staircases that were scattered aroud the city lead. But once we were back in the cool of the hotel the laziness set in. Chuck and I managed to make it back out for gyros from the place we found earlier and they ended up being to die for. Some of the best gyros we'd had in Greece. That was about the extent of our night. Not a particularly thrilling day, but we got done what we came to Delphi to do.

After breakfast, packing, and checking out we headed down tot he bus stop to wait for the 10:00 bus to Thessaloniki. The ticket office didn't open until five minutes before the bus was due to arrive, but that was okay since the bus was late anyways. Robyn asked him if they had student rates. He asked if she was a student in Greece, and she replied that she was not, showing him her US student ID. He got a bit indignant and basically told her with unnecessary rudeness that one needed to be a Greek student for a discount. I didn't understand what his problem was - that's all he needed to say. "We only have discounts for Greek student." But he was a snotty butt head about it and I ended up stewing for the next 15 minutes over it. But got over it I did, and by then we were on our way to Thessaloniki!

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