Anyway, we did not take the offer of taking the bikes to the site and we started, valiantly, on foot. After the all you can eat breakfast and checking the 24 hours coffee statement (at 6 am, descending to get a cup for my dream companion, the reception clerk, barely awake, told me that it was too early for 24 hours). The lack was, anyway, compensated by the generous offer – a bottle of cold water for each of us – to accompany us on the way to the Site.
Delphi, off season, is delicious. Fit for a honeymoon, with sleepy stores, containing all sorts of stuff for tourists, that final apathy, melancholic restaurants enjoying every client.
We pass a lot of oleanders in bloom, on the impeccably done road (I have just realized it’s been 15 years since I last came here, and a lot changed) and a fig tree about to yield its ripe fruit. A., of course, is picking whatever she can reach among the darg green leaves, oozing the end of summer feel.
The entrance and the museum are handbook perfect, superb. We get tickets for the site and museum, and enter that Disneyland trip that takes you into the dark, soft night of Pythia’s Earth, then to the Sun of Apollo and to our date with the Gods, in the upper stadium.
There are some groups, but not very many, and that gives us time to dangle our feet by the rock of the priestesses that once foretold the future, meditate by the altar of Apollo’s temple, watch the numerous “banks”, well, well, are we having some treasuries here or what…. But, mostly, smell the nectar that flows from the top. To my disappointment, the stadium is now separated with a thick rope, one cannot sit in the middle anymore, as I did last time, in the middle of the pouring streams of Light. They have banned the acces, and that comes with another set of stupid museum rules, such as ” no taking photos of people with statues”. I don’t get it.
So we cross over the rope line, take a few steps to see the nearby caves. I. is going on his own quest while we open the mini altar to meditate. There is a sense of silent power to this place. When the family gets reunited, going back on the tourist path, I do my usual thing> looking around, I stumble and my left knee takes a good hit. Ripped white pants, blood flowing. The connection opens immediately. Previous such accidents: going up to Ephesus, in the middle of Champs Elyees and near a 14th century Saxon church, in the heart of Romania. Hmmmm.
Yes, it is a special place indeed. Limestone, stromatolites, phosphates, and for the icing, a fault. I leave the conclusions to the experts. Geologists are talking about cryptocrystalline poles. For the untrained ones, there is a great synonym to all this: MAGIC. Strange things happen in Delphi. We are being followed by extremely friendly cats… Of course, all attracted by I.’s “magnet”. What happens next is always the same scenario. Purring and carressing and claws digging into the fine weaving of the handmade shirt bought in Bran, that traveled to Bucharest, Vancouver, the Amazon and here, before it will return to its source.
Another weird thing is the sudden meeting, in the middle of the amphitheater, with a friend that took part in our in Bucharest. An extremely improbable connection: he is on his way back home, we are in the middle of our explorer’s trip. Time for some bear hugs and a lot of wonder around this meeting here.
Stopping for the well chilled rooms of the museum, we enjoy with the winged Sphinx and old, old portraits of the first inhabitants of these miraculous lands. Old symbols are to be found all around us and it seems like those ancient stones, excavated at the beginning of the previous century after relocating the entire community that lived there, are distinctly singing. There is a deep, persistent, harmonious buzz and it is definitely not any kind of high blood pressure sound.
DupSfter all that energy and culture, we deserve a frozen lemonade on the terrace. Poor sick thin cats beg for a bit of food. A little one is barely walking, exhausted and hungry. It will be a miracle if he makes it. The mother is so thin that the spine is visible and she is waiting for a morsel from tourists to convert it into the so needed milk. I do not know why, but the animals’ suffering torments me so much more than the human ones. Because humans can ask for help and they can receive it. Anymals only know how to give you that heart tearing look.
Sensations fade as we take the road back to the hotel, with a compulsory stop in one of the few open restaurants. Greek food, delicious lemonade and desert on the house… what else can you ask for?
Well, you can. Because the show is part of the price you pay here, we enjoy the scene made by a Greek woman, a bit over ripe, guiding three Americans. Her hormones are jumping all around, it is visible from the distance. But the plan is overturned by A., who does what she usually does: her swinging steps, her stunning look and the black abyss that opens under her long lashes makes the Americans twist their necks and follow her. “Dad” enters the protection mode, and the invisible cloak , well armored, surrounds us and gives the Greek cougar the second chance for a crazy foursome afternoon.
Less crazy, we fall in bed for an hour of recoup, but after that the rummaging fever la fethat makes us want to see, feel, absorb more, takes us on a spectacular curvy road, down, to the sea. The Gulf of Corinth is almost isolated from the sea, and the lack of currents is visible. The sea is pale and dirty, our swim suits prove to be useless, and the only thing we can do is to take a walk in the open air market of the village on the shore, resulting in some slippers and Turkish delight, before returning to the base camp for a dinner with a view, stories around a bottle of wine. The sea, seens from miles away, beyond the olive tree orchards at the foothills of Parnassus,looks like a magic promise.