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Day 8: Delphi

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The weather looked a bit sunnier this morning when we woke up in Delphi and went to check the view from our balcony. 


It still hasn't come out terribly well in the photo, but we could see the blue sea in the distance a lot more clearly :)


We had breakfast in the hotel and then began walking towards the archaeological site, which is a few hundred metres up the road from where we are staying. As we walked along the road, we began to get wonderful views along the valley in the opposite direction as well.


The ancient Greeks believed that Delphi was a mystical place and the centre of the universe; looking at these views, it's not hard to understand why they were so impressed by it.


It costs €12 for a ticket to get into the ruins. Luckily there was no strike today :)


The site at Delphi is quite large - and built up the hillside - so there was plenty of walking to do. We easily got our 10,000 steps in as we explored!


This was good though, because it meant that even though there were quite a lot of tour groups, the location somehow managed to absorb them and it never felt too busy.


And the higher we climbed, the more we were able to enjoy the beautiful views :)


The most impressive building at Delphi is the Athenian Treasury.


This was built by the city to commemorate their victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.


The most impressive building in ancient times would have been the Temple of Apollo.


A temple was first built here in the 7th century BC, although the ruins visible today date back to the 4th century BC.


The Greeks believed that the god Apollo spoke through the high priestess at the temple, giving advice and prophecies about the future.


The Oracle of Delphi was known throughout the ancient world and was consulted by famous leaders including Alexander the Great and the Roman emperors Nero and Hadrian.


After the temple, the path took us quite steeply uphill towards Delphi's theatre.


This was built in the 4th century BC and could accommodate up to 4,500 spectators.


The path continued even higher than the theatre, leading towards the stadium. We had some amazing views as we climbed...


...and soon we were looking down on the theatre from above.


Eventually we arrived at the stadium, which was built in the 5th century BC and is the best-preserved ancient stadium in Greece.


Unlike at Olympia, we could see the stone seating alongside the track here.


The stadium is the highest point that you can climb to, so from there it was back downhill.


As we left, we could see that it was starting to get a bit busier with tour groups. It looked like some of them had come off cruise ships.


We had just seen the main site, but there is also another smaller site further down the hillside.


We walked along the road towards it, turning back to get views towards where we'd just been.


This second site is home to a temple known as the Tholos of Delphi.


It was really impressive... 


...and the best thing was that none of the tour groups seemed to have bothered climbing down this far, so we were almost the only visitors.


The €12 ticket also gives you entrance to the archaeological museum, but we were well overdue for lunch at this point so decided to give it a miss! We walked back into the new town of Delphi and found a nice restaurant. I played it safe with pizza, but Tim decided to try Greek food again, ordering something which was described as "beef in tomato sauce" but which turned out to be very similar to goulash.


Then it was time to head back to the apartment and relax with a spot of reading on the balcony :)


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