As soon as we decided to come to Greece, Steve started to talk about “the Oracle.” Admittedly I didn’t really know what he was talking about, but after today’s incredible visit to Delphi, I get it.
Delphi is the ancient religious site which honors Apollo, the god of music, art, and light. Originally settled high in the mountains during the Greek Dark Ages (1100-800 BC) to honor Gaia (Mother Nature), the oracle offered prophesies to people who came from across the world seeking answers.
Fueled by fumes emanating from the rocks (later found to be on a fault line), a priestess would sink into a trance and offer strange, garbled answers which were interpreted by priests. Of course the answers never really provided answers, but the rituals continued in one form or another until 385 AD when the Christians abolished the oracle as pagan worship.
It wasn’t until the late 1800s that excavators began uncovering the site, only to find the enormous temple of Apollo and many “treasuries” which were elaborate buildings used to store the “gifts” offered to the god.
Such offerings included bronze sculptures and gold adornments.
After touring the site we visited the on site museum which includes many of the treasures found during excavation, as well as beautiful, large sculptures that were found throughout the area.
It’s hard to describe how awe-inspiring Delphi is. We hope the photos will give you an idea.
The next day, after a four hour drive north, we hit Meteora. This mystical corner of Greece is home to towering rock formations that rise nearly 1000 feet into the sky and support six 14th to 17th century Byzantine monasteries. Back in the 1300s, hermits took refuge in the caves within these rocks. Over time monks sought refuge on these rock pillars to escape war and to be closer to the heavens.
Once home to 13 monasteries, six remain and are open to tourists. Besides the incredible frescos in each church (no photos were allowed inside), the views are spectacular.
Our visit to Meteora was our last stop before making the long trip home. What a trip it’s been!