July 3- Olympia 

We left our beautiful hotel in Olympia for a five minute drive to the ancient site of Olympia, most famous as the town where the Olympics began. For centuries before the games, Olympia was a place of worship for several Greek gods, most notably Zeus. 
Athletes from several Greek states were invited to participate. Months in advance a truce was called and all hostilities were put on hold until after the games. 

At the site we saw many ruins, including the temples for Zeus and Hera, and many sites related to the games. We saw the gymnasium where wrestling and boxing took place, a hotel that accommodated a few hundred of the 45,000 spectators, and the stadium for running events. The original stone starting blocks are still there! Gordon, Peter, and Anna enjoyed running the 600 foot corse and back. 

One interesting tidbit we learned was that there was a place for cheaters to confess their sin. They gave an offering and those were used to build more and more statues of Zeus. What kind of cheating? Eating meat! That was like doping today. They were supposed to give up meat for three months prior to the games. 

The Olympic Games were intended to bring unity to diverse peoples, including those who were adversaries. I hope our games in Rio can uphold this ideal. 

We enjoyed a museum of artifacts from Olympia. The collection is amazing. This was a beautiful city in its day. Some of what has been found is in good condition because this site was under 20 feet of mud for centuries. 

We had an amazing drive north out of the Peloponnese to Delphi. The views around the Gulf of Corinth are breathtaking! Tomorrow we visit the site of Delphi. I’m learning so much about the Greek and Roman culture that Paul encountered as he shared Christ with people.

I hope you all had a great Sabbath and happy 4th of July to you all!

Nancy