Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Greek Odyssey: part four.

After a long bus ride, we found ourselves in the tiny town of Andritsaina, the entirety of which is one sprawling village road. We had to call in advance to let a restaurant know that thirty of us were coming so that they could accomodate us, considering the fact that the year prior, they had run out of food. ;] We had a fantastic meal prepared for us by the most adorable of staffs and it was, quite simply, delicious.

Just some of the group chowing down.
Alyssa and Claire!
Delicious toasted bread with olive oil and tzatziki sauce. So good.
Rice-stuffed tomatoes.
Chicken souvlaki - a kebab = with lime. And fries. Even though practically all meals I ate in Greece included chicken souvlaki and fries, this one was my favorite.
Some sort of citrus cake. Strange texture. But. Still good.

Afterwards, we bussed to Bassae, the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo that is currently under restoration. There, we met with the civil engineer in charge of that process. The temple is absolutely gorgeous - grand, even. We discussed how usually people try to avoid renovating sites like this because some believe it is an infringement upon the structure's integrity; our professor explained that in this case, restoration was necessary, lest it be lost altogether. I say, carry on.

The road to Bassae got a little congested. By a flock of sheep. :P
Our Greek bus driver laughed at our excitement, considering sheep are nothing special there. ;]
We were also joined by a goat or two.

Anyway, the whole reason this visit was so amazing was because we were actually able to go inside the temple, which obviously is not allowed for just any tourist. Prior to visiting the site, we had been told we would be doing some archeological work, which left us confused. We found out, however, that working turned out to be the opportunity to leave a small, barely detectable, but nonetheless present, mark on the temple forever. We chiseled. We drilled. We laughed. We cried. We left happy.

The site is tented while the temple is being restored.
What I was able to shoot of the temple itself.
Marin drilling a hole in a cement replica of a missing limestone piece of the temple.
Me, having a go.
Me chiseling cement.
Katya totally in her element.
Suze. Intense.
More chiselin'.
People helped plaster.
Marin and I made friends with one of the five workers there named Kostos.
After our "hard work," we reentered the tent...
Then we watched as they placed the perfect replica in its place!

The next day, we were off to Olympia - you know, that place where the ancient Greek games were held? No big deal or anything. But I'll be honest, while its history is awesome and visiting it was an experience for which I am grateful, Olympia is sadly in ruins. Like everything else we'd been looking at. Things sort of blend together. But I enjoyed it. Here's some photos.

Remains of a temple.
The track!

We then traveled to Delphi. Ohhh, Delphi. Here's where things get interesting. A four hour bus ride plus general travel-induced malaise often equals not so great moods. Or at least that's what you think, until you go on a trip like this where any moment's respite is something to be treasured. We got on the bus and just slept the entire way. We finally arrived in Delphi and had the remainder of the night free. LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

After dinner in the most Americanized restaurant we could have possibly selected, we went clubbing. Or perhaps we went "clubbing," because I am not sure you can omit those quotation marks unless the majority of the club's patrons are over sixteen years old, which was not the case at Down Town. Yes, a little basement club called Down Town. Two words. It was hilarious to say the least. First of all, I'd never been to a club, so I guess this situation was only appropriate; perhaps it was my training club. Secondly, it's just a little weird to be surrounded by little kids who are drinking and dancing ("dancing"). Thirdly, we commandeered the DJs headquarters and requested ("requested" - we literally just took over his station) only music we liked so as to allow us to GET OUR DANCE ON! SATURDAY NIGHT IN DELPHI! DOWN TOWN!

The next day, commemorating our times.

We then proceeded to spend the night in the most adorable little hotel. Check it!

Way too pretty.

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