Marjorie in Qatar (qatar) wrote,
Marjorie in Qatar

We WERE in Delphi!

I think Delphi was the highlight of our trip to Greece, so it's just as well we went on our last day. We finally arrived at 11 last night, spent the night at a nice little hotel, and then spent almost all day today wandering around the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, where the Oracle used to hang out telling passers by that they'd kill their fathers or conquer the known world or what have you.

Anyway, lovely site. The ruins are all covered in wildflowers right now, which is probably terrible for the stone but looks lovely! And ruins aside, it's a gorgeous landscape: towering mountains and vast olive-covered valleys sweeping down to the sea. And it was spitting rain much of the morning, leading to very dramatic clouds between us and the mountains. What a beautiful location! If the world were to have an omphalos, I think the Greeks weren't far wrong in declaring that Delphi to be it.

In other news, Greece is outraged today over newly announced austerity meaures -- largely higher sales taxes, it sounded like. Our extremely affable hotel owner chatted to us about it over breakfast, in between casting aspersions on his least favorite tourist nationalities and blaming Germany for everything wrong in Greece. It always surprises me how okay it is in Europe to open up conversation with complete strangers on a topic like how bothersome the Italians are. Not that Americans don't have prejudice, of course, but I think we're more reticent about them. :-p

In the afternoon we took the long-distance bus back to Athens and then attempted to catch a local bus back to the hostel -- the same one that failed us in the other direction. It was only after waiting 20 minutes that it dawned on us we'd seen no buses in either direction, despite the fact that 11 lines pass by that stop. Sure enough, the bus system had shut down again -- along with the metro and lightrail, and generally most public systems including state hospitals. I'm a bit baffled by Greek workers' use of the strike. It's not like the bus drivers are having disagreements with management or asking for higher pay or anything; they're just generally voicing displeasure with the government. However, I suspect the lawmakers are a lot less affected by a shutdown of mass transit (not to mention the state hospital system!) than most Athenians, so unless their goal is to irritate all those commuters into an unstoppable Communist uprising, I'm not totally sure what their game plan is.

Apparently the airport itself shut down for 4 hours too, so if the strike continues tomorrow, we're in trouble. Hmm, perhaps that WAS the plan behind the strike -- to keep us from leaving. I'm pretty sure that my daily crepe expenditure could keep the Greek economy afloat indefinitely.

At any rate, if we're lucky we'll be heading to the airport in the morning, and my next post will be from Qatar.
Tags: greece, travel

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