Of all of the places around the world I have visited, Delphi is the first of which I would return.
Athens to Delphi
Sunday morning, bright and early, our bus drove away from Athens and toward Delphi. Delphi is situated between sharp curving roads and steep mountain ridges; our wonderful driver conquered both and we arrived safely in Delphi just before lunch.
Ivory and Gold
One of the coolest things about Delphi is the museum, which was, by far, my favorite museum in all of Greece. I loved all of the sculptures and artifacts preserved within the museum.
According to our tour guide, the only ivory and gold statues known to have survived from Ancient Greece are in the museum at Delphi. After a fire, the statues were buried (rather than being thrown out) so as not to offend the gods. Thousands of years later the three statues were discovered under the stones of the pathway up the mountain.
The three statues were a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship of ancient artists as well as the immense wealth that was contained within Delphi during the prime years of the site.
The ivory statue of Artemis, twin sister of Apollo, was blackened during a fire.
Apollo and Dionysus
Delphi was magically beautiful and words can barely describe how remarkable it felt to walk in the footsteps of the gathering place of travelers from around the ancient world.
Our tour guide was also so amazing! The way she described ancient Delphi and the people who lived and visited the site was astounding. She discussed how the god of the mind (Apollo) and the god of heart (Dionysus) were worshiped in the same temple and how ancient people believed that knowledge and curiosity were divine.
Thoughts to Live By
Several of the things she said really hit home with me:
‘The more you want to know, the better human you become.’
'No idea is original; we keep repeating the same mistakes.’
‘History is there for us to learn from it. But of course we don’t.'
‘Remember that you’re human and respect yourself.’
Your Adventure is Your Own
Standing where people from around the ancient world gathered to hear the advice of the oracle of Delphi was one of the most remarkable experiences of my entire life. History isn't what you see in the movies. Photographs show only a fraction of the view.
Like the people who worshiped Apollo and Dionysus at Delphi, you have to think and feel when you're traveling; when you're experiencing new places; when you're standing in a place that you will likely never stand again. Don't rush through. Don't simply pause long enough to take the photo. And don't think you have to smell every rose unless you truly want to.
Your life, your adventure, is what you make it. The oracle offered advice to guide you toward your own decision. Learn from history and know thyself.