MICHAEL and JEANNIE in GREECE
2 September 2000
On Saturday, 2 September, we departed the hotel at 8:45 this morning. As we traveled north near the coast, the flat terrain and the buildings we saw reminded us very much of the Domiziana highway between Naples and Rome, Italy.
About 10 a.m. we reached the Greek port city of Patras. Over his shorts Michael pulled on pair of athletic trousers and Jeannie wrapped her new skirt around hers. Tradition holds that it was here in Patras that the Apostle Andrew was crucified. We stopped at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Andrew, built near his tomb. In the church we saw what is claimed to be the skull of Andrew and a few large pieces of the X-shaped cross upon which he died. Actually, the skull is kept in a silver container, shaped like a Byzantine church, with a 2-inch round window in the top. All one can see of the skull is its very top. The inlaid marble floor and the gold mosaics on the walls are very beautiful. The huge wooden chandelier hanging in the center is impressive.
Though this is probably the largest church in Greece, it is considerably smaller than the Roman Catholic cathedrals in Europe. To a casual, uninformed observer, the Greek Orthodox Church appears very little different from the Roman Catholic Church.
Before re-boarding our bus, Jeannie drank a Coke and Michael drank a Coke Light (same as a Diet Coke, we think) at a snack bar. Michael also ate some gelati. Then we went back to wearing shorts.
After a short ride to Rion, a little town nearby, we got on a ferry to ride about 15 minutes across the Gulf of Corinth. We sat on the top deck, having walked on and off the ferry. It was about noon when we were on the road again. Though we were following the coast, we were soon in mountains again.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant on the beach about 1:30. It was very pleasant to eat where we could hear the waves. Before we were back on the bus, we had time to walk on this pebble beach.
Upon arrival in Delphi, we went straight to museum. Though there were lots of people there, our exceptional tour guide provided a most informative tour, explaining the significance of numerous marble, bronze, ivory, silver and gold statues. The museum was very crowded, much more so than at Olympia. We were told that cruise ships offer brief excursions to Delphi. We saw many, many tour buses here.
About 4:15 we checked into our hotel in the modern-day village of Delphi. After a short rest, the two of us walked to most all the souvenir shops in town.
Delphi, the ancient and the new, is half way up the side of a high mountain. The view from our hotel was stunningly picturesque. To the south can be seen a deep gorge. Toward the Mediterranean Sea (or the Bay of Itea on the Gulf of Corinth, specifically) southwest of Delphi, one can see 4 million olive trees in the valley. In every other direction, the modern Delphi is surrounded by mountains.
Our group went to supper at 7:30, excited to find that the hotel had provided us a buffet with a great variety of Greek foods. We wanted to try everything but there wasn't enough room in our stomachs.