July 4- Delphi and Kalambaka

Delphi is an ancient site, with people living there for centuries before Christ. It is at a crossroads between north, south, east and west. Many considers it the “navel” (omphalos). 

Later it became famous because of the Oracle who would give advise. People would come from all over Greece to get a word from the Oracle. It wasn’t first come, first served. Instead the latest victor in s battle was at the front of the line followed by wealthy folks who could present lavish gifts. The Oracle was a woman. She would ritually bathe, drink spring water,chew on laurel leaves, breathe vapors from a fissure in the earth and then go into a stupor. It is believed that the vapors in Delphi that combined with the laurel leaves made her speak gibberish. Fortunately for those who came to get a word from her, the priests could interpret her gibberish. Like with modern day fortune cookies the advice was vague so the wisdom seeker could believe what he wanted. 

The site was beautiful and on a steep cliff. We hiked up and down to see the stadium as well as ruins of a temple of Athena. 

We drove north through lush fields growing olives, corn and wheat. Tonight we are in Kalambaka at the foot of Meteora which houses six monasteries in the cliffs. Tomorrow we will visit two of them. 

Greece is a wonderful place but on the 4th of July we think of home and our gratitude for being Americans