Phototour – Ruins at Delphi
As part of my mad dash about the Greek mainland, I wanted to also see the Ruins at Delphi. From Meteora and Greek Orthodox Christian monasteries I traveled on a long bus trip to Delphi and the Ruins of the Temple of Apollo there. I got there late at night and only had the morning to see the ruins.
In addition to the standard gobs of photos in a phototour, I have two short videos to share. I bought a handheld camcorder as my new toy for the trip. I’m still learning, so they are a bit shaky, but should give an idea of the ruins.
The town is pretty cool. A few long streets connected by steep stairways perches above a long scenic valley. Way down below is the town of Itea, where apparently all buses in the region must stop and change people. The actual ruins are a 15 minute walk out from town. The main site has a museum and the large section of ruins that crawl up the mountainside.
In walking around I missed one site that I had seen on postcards. Yes, I peruse postcard stands to see what pictures I need to take at a place, or what pictures to avoid. The thing that I had seen was an arch of three pillars with a stone on top. There is apparently a second section of ruins down a ways. I could see it from the road, but did not feel that I had time to get down there.
One of the things I thought was cool about Delphi was why it was apparently important. At one point they found a sage here that told oracles based apparently around hallucinations given to her by sitting around a rock that gave off volcanic vapors. I always heard it was some vent in the ground, but it seems to just be a rock. This I learned from overhearing the German guide.
The most famous view is a set of 5 pillars that remain from the main temple of Apollo built at this site. From the postcards I kind of thought they are in a circle like a gazebo. Nope, they are the last remaining corner of a large Greek Temple. In a lot of ways these are the ruins that I expected from walking around in Athens.
Above the temple is a well preserved semi-circular theater. Some of my favorite views are looking down into the magnificent valley with the theater and temple in the foreground.
I kept walking upwards through the ruins. At the very top is a stadium. I found it somehow strange that a site dedicated to the sun god had not the temple at the highest point, but a place for sport. The stadium didn’t really look all that different than a modern one for being thousands of years old. Though it was obviously in ruins compared to the restored stadium in Athens.
There are signs saying no food or drink in the ruins, so I ended up sitting outside to eat my nuts that I had brought to snack on. There are here like in Athens, cats ready to take what they can.
I took no tour and just wandered around the ruins. In all I think I spent an hour and a half. I felt this was plenty of time, but may have actually done the museum if I had known how long the wait for the bus was going to be. Definitely take the walk and admire the valley. I get why people thought this place was special.
Heading back to get my bag and arrange bus travel to Patras, I ended up getting something to eat and sat in a cafe with free Wi-Fi and enjoyed a Frappe with Baileys. It was so nice to have a quiet almost normal feeling sitdown amid the rushing travel of the past few days.
The Day I Didn't See the Oracle of Delphi, Greece | Ali's Adventures
January 17, 2013 @ 9:01 am
[…] guide’s heavily accented English, I didn’t always understand what she was saying. When Andy went to Delphi a couple years ago, he overheard a guide say the Oracle sat on or near the rock above, which I just […]
Delphi, Greece - Ctrl Alt Travel
July 12, 2012 @ 6:06 am
[…] person) anything from questions about personal matters to important issues about the state or wars. Delphi is a good day trip from Athens and a really beautiful site to explore. If you enjoyed this post, […]
November 16, 2010 @ 11:10 pm
Postcard stands are the best way to become orientated with the most popular tourist sites before being bombarded by tour sales people. (And yes often they do give a clue on photos to avoid – those twee tired overused shots) What did the Frappe with Baileys taste like? Mm… sounded awesome.
November 17, 2010 @ 7:15 pm
Yup, and Delphi was a wonderful place for it. One long street of restaurants and stores with the same poorly rotating postcard stand.
Frappe with Baileys is good. Remember to ask for no milk. The milk overwhelms the baileys and the taste is gone. It is a nice smooth thing with a kick of both the baileys and coffee; but cooling which is good for the Greek summer. This seems to be the national drink in the heat here. Learned of it from my boat skipper.
Laurel@Expat in Germany
November 12, 2010 @ 4:00 pm
Amazing photos! I`m dying to get to Greece and my list of places to go while there keeps getting longer 🙂
November 14, 2010 @ 3:45 pm
Thanks. I would really advise taking more time that you think you need. Things run slowly there, especially in comparison to Germany. It is a neat place, but a way different world than even I was expecting.
November 10, 2010 @ 9:46 pm
Wow, those views look amazing! I definitely see what you mean about understanding how people thought the place was special. Too bad you felt so rushed getting through it all!
November 14, 2010 @ 3:32 pm
Yeah, I felt rushed; but in the end had enough time to enjoy. The rushed feeling was about the transport system not the place. I have no need to see the ruins again, but the town itself and Itea below were neat.
November 10, 2010 @ 5:45 pm
Wow. Ruins don’t tend to be my thing, but WHAT A VIEW. I would make the trip up just for that and then enjoy the ruins because they just happened to be in such a spectacular location 🙂
November 10, 2010 @ 8:59 pm
The valley was really neat. I met a guy who was spending a week in the area hiking around. Sounds like fun actually. Check the travel links though, to-from Athens seems ok, but other transport links felt a bit unreliable.
November 10, 2010 @ 1:38 am
I love the pictures Andy! I could totally imagine myself there again 🙂 I thought Delphi was very peaceful, and you showed it in the pictures.
November 10, 2010 @ 7:14 am
Aww thank you. It was pretty peaceful in places, though there were little tourist herds too. I wish I had not been so stressed with timing and could have relaxed more in the town.
November 9, 2010 @ 2:45 pm
I really enjoy your photos and insite. My family is moving to Germany my wife and kids have been there since last April. I am finishing my work here in the states and will be joining them in December. One thing we love to do is travel, and you have given me many idea on where to go and what to see
November 10, 2010 @ 7:13 am
Thanks for the comment. Your move sounds exciting. There are so many cool places in Europe to travel. Even in Germany there are a lot of great sights without even leaving.