A year ago today, I was spending my last full day in a country that had already stolen my heart. After only three days in beautiful Greece, I was sure that I wasn't ready to move on. However, it was time to say goodbye to this lovely place.
On that last day we traveled through the mountainous region to Delphi, home of the great oracle of Apollo. It was rainy and misty as we drove thought the mountain roads. The weather seemed to only add to the mystical feeling of this place.
Delphi sits high on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos. It was one of the most important sights of the ancient world. People would come from all over to seek the advice of Apollo, given through the oracle.
The temple of Apollo is an amazing sight. I couldn't help but think about all of the gods that were worshiped in ancient times. People have always known that there is a higher power. The Greeks built temples to every god imaginable, even temples to unknown gods. They did not want to leave out or offend any one. It is said that when the Apostle Paul traveled to Greece, he found it very easy to convert the Greek people because they were almost relieved to learn that there was only one true God to please.
After taking the steep hike from the temple to the stadium where the Pythian games (second only to the Olympics) were held, I had a chance to just sit in that mystical place and converse with the one true God, thanking him for the beauty that surrounded me.
After leaving the ancient site, we visited the archaeological museum nearby. The artifacts there were mind blowing. I had still not gotten over the amazement that I originally felt in Athens when viewing objects with that kind of history.
Of course our time in Greece was drawing to a close and it was time to leave it behind. However, we had a few more memorable moments before calling it a day. We had a wonderful lunch at this taverna. I was able to get a picture, but there was no sign out front so I didn't get the name. From the road you would not even know that it was a restaurant.
This memory brings be back to the Greek food. Oh my, what wonderful food! At this particular taverna I had Stuffed Aubergines (eggplant). The waiter called it eggplant shoe, because they look like little shoes. It was heavenly! Catie ate the traditional Moussaka and said that it was delicious. I bought a cookbook from the gift shop and tried the eggplant dish at home. It was pretty good, but not nearly a delicious as the original (maybe because the recipe used measurements very different from our own.)
After our wonderful last meal in Greece, we traveled down the winding road through olive groves with trees as far as the eye could see. No wonder the olive oil was some of the best I had ever had. We finally came to the place where the mountain meets the sea, Patras. There we would board our overnight ferry and leave the glorious beauty of Greece behind.
On a side note: If you visit Greece, you must purchase worry beads. These have no magical power, they are just stress relievers that many of the Greeks carry around with them. You can hold them and there are even different tricks that you can learn to do with them. A very nice man in the Plaka taught Catie how to do a few flips and such with her beads that Greenie is holding.
Leaving Greece was difficult, but I was ready to open my mind and heart to another place - Italy!