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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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The Center Cannot Hold Delphi, Greece, Friday, 01 January 2010 5:00am

We got up before the crack of dawn to catch the first Flying Dolphin out of Hydra, then caught the Athens Metro most of the way to the bus terminal (why don't the transit systems connect?), caught a cab the last two kilometers, and hopped a bus to Delphi. We should probably have hired a mule in Hydra, to boost our transit mode count for the day.

We arrived in Delphi at about 2pm. The man at the desk of our hotel warned us that the museum would close at 3pm and the upper site would close at 5pm, and that neither would be open tomorrow (New Year's Day), so the early morning had been worth it.

Delphi is the best of the sites we've visited so far. Lots of history, lots of interesting things to see, jaw-droppingly beautiful setting. Not too crowded.

It helped that it was a gorgeous day. Sunny, with breezes along the mountainside keeping it from being too hot. In theory, this is a ski center, and you can see the ski shops and snowboards for sale, but it was almost 70°F! Weather Underground says that a new record high was set yesterday, by a 7 degree margin, and that it was about 13 degrees above the average for 12/31.

We climbed through the ruins up to the top of the site (the stadium). I was keeping an eye out for the Omphalos, since it would be silly to get that close to the center of the world and not know it, but I discovered several disturbing things: the location of the Omphalos is not marked, the modern archaeologists responsible for the site have moved the Omphalos from the temple of Apollo to the on-site museum, and the Omphalos that they moved isn't the original! How do you lose track of the center of the world?

Jarek, Omphalos

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