Travel Journal
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5/30: Day Four, Olympia to Patras to Nafpaktos to Delphi

When we woke up, we were relatively refreshed, because we had actually had a full night's sleep (this is all relative, of course). Caroline was a bit hungover but I was doing great, since I didn't have more than two drinks the entire night. This hotel was novel in that it had a shower curtain (but still a stupid shower head). :) (The funny things you take for granted. I was still waiting for a hotel where they'd allow you to flush TP.)

The day started with my tragic death. Caroline, who had gotten up before me in order to take a shower first (the curse of longer hair is upon her! Muhahaha!), and saw a note sitting under the door for me. She decided to read it (that made me mad... what if it was a love note from Shayne? heh heh), and found that I had been tragically killed in a bus bombing with 5 other people on the tour. Man. Sucky for me. I guess the killer knew to get rid of the smart kids first :) (Caroline said that she was all depressed when she read it... mean killer! Making my sis sad! Hmph!)

Breakfast was the standard fare. We ate with another girl named Caroline (from England) and her Aussie roomie, a 18 yr-old girl named Tracey who I'd soon come to appreciate, as she was also going to Egypt with us. I was in need of some more Dramamine (little did I know that most of Greece is windy mountain road, something which we experienced during yesterday's excursion to the Temple of Poseidon), so we hopped across to the street to the local pharmacy. Dramamine there was CHEAP -- 12 for 200 drachs! (Remember, 345 drachs = $1 American!) I was so happy to be in this country. Even better, you can buy almost any prescription drug over the counter there. If only I wasn't allergic to vicodin...

We got on the bus to drive to Olympia, and started out at the museum. We had said goodbye to Dora in Athens (people study at school in order to become tour specialists in certain areas, and hers was Athens), and had this new tour guide, who showed us around the museum and told us a bit about the site. We looked at a model of what the site looked like before it was destroyed; this was where the Olympic games were held, so we looked at the paths the athletes would take, where they would bathe and train, and then we looked at tools and statues found on the site. They had these little metal scraper things that the athletes used when competing; the guys competed naked, covered in olive oil, and would scrape the oil, sweat, and dirt off themselves with these tools before they'd bathe. After we had looked at friezes and statues, we headed for the actual site, which was across the street.

Sculptures from the east pediment of the Temple of Zeus (the horse race of Pelops and Oinomaus)

Athena Nike of Painios, Hermes with Dionysius, and Hadrian

Pediment from one of the buildings at the site... I have no idea which, though :)

Walking around the site was really cool. There were big flower fields growing in the middle of the ruins, which were huge and on flat ground (unlike almost any other place we were going to see, of course). The trippiest building by far was the Temple of Zeus in the middle of the site, which had been toppled by an ancient earthquake. Marble columns were built in pieces, because it was much too hard to build them in one piece (this is different than the columns at the Temple of Aphaia, but I'll get to that). So, when the earthquake hit, parts of the columns flew EVERY which way, landing all around the temple in weird positions. So, when you look at the temple, it is very surreal, with column pieces that are bigger than you sitting half-buried in the ground on their sides. I kept thinking that Zeus must have been pissed at someone and smited the temple in anger.

Caroline, Alison, and Sabrina ignore the tour guide. (Hence the lack of captions on the photos.)

Alison and a nice rock.

Caroline and a nice Carrie.

We then walked towards the stadium and hippodrome, where we all pretended to be taking off for a race in about 200 pics. It is not easy to stand in the Greek starting position (which is not squatted and touching the ground, like we do now, but instead half crouching) for a long period of time. Ow.

Entrance to the stadium, used by the athletes.

Ready? Set? FLEX!

After we were done with the site, we walked back across the street and stopped at a vendor's, to buy something to eat (we didn't eat lunch until around 2 pm, every day, which meant that one had to snack). For some reason, Greek men are infatuated with Caroline -- every single vendor hit on that girl. It was really great to get to stand right next to her and watch some random guy would just totally flatter the hell out of her and blatantly ignore me. This trip was starting to become a real test of my feelings of self-worth, let me tell you. (Of course, that's what happens when your sister is a total hottie <g>)

Anyway, we hopped back on the bus, and those who had been killed went to the front of the bus to tell how they'd died. When I got up there, I said that I had been killed by a terrorist bombing, but that my sister was going to avenge my death and make whoever had killed me pay! (This was a little improv on my part, aww yeah.) This played into Caroline's own death, later. :)

We took a car/bus ferry from Patras to Nafpaktos, during which I was almost dumbstruck by the water. It looked so much like a precious gemstone; the color was just amazing. I am sure those who live there take it for granted, but I am used to taking the ferry through dark bluish-brownish bay water, not through sparkling water that is practically the color of the sky. Wow. During the ride (the ferry had stand-up potties, I hear), we speculated on who the killer was. Shayne thought it was Steve, because he said that Steve was creepy, but we decided that it had to be someone European, because the notes had said things like "bugger off" and "motorway."

Forget the fact that I am squinting. LOOK AT THAT WATER! And it gets better!

When the ferry landed, we hopped back on the bus and drove to Clovios, a restaurant in the middle of nowhere on the coast. There, I had my first truly authentic Greek dish -- pastitsio, a noodle pie of sorts made of pasta, ground beef, a cheese topping, and a sauce that has cinnamon in it. It was very delicious. During lunch we speculated more about the killer; at this point, because I was dead, I was really tired of talking about it, but it proved to be a great team-building exercise, because people couldn't stop talking about it to each other. After lunch we sat on the pebble beach by the restaurant and took in some sun. I sat and wrote in my journal, still in a daze that I was in such an incredibly beautiful country.

Mmmm, pastitsio. And Coke.

Pebble beach. Windy, but pretty, right near the restaurant.

More bus time, and we were in Delphi. I was SO excited to be in this town, and our hotel was pretty spiff, because it had a real shower! Wooo! The surrounding city was very cool because the roads were all windy and the town was so quiet. We got to our room and could look at this horse grazing on a hill in the back, eating purple flowers from the bushes near where it stood. We could also see Pan, the bus driver, getting ready to come into the hotel, so I started calling to him (Sabrina had said on the bus that Pan had a sexual fantasy to tell us as his intro but we'd have to get it out of him ourselves, which she said AFTER he had told us that he was a monk who'd been out of the monestary [his mom had supposedly put him in when he was sick as a child] for 2 years, in order to embarrass him) and telling him to come up to our room so we could hear his story. This started a very weird Alison-Pan friendship, which consisted of him trying to get me to wear the butthead hat (this really dorky looking hat covered in velcro that Sabrina threatened people with if they asked a stupid question) and me pretending to be his mother. Okay then.

When we ate dinner, Caroline, who had been served her death notice, acted it out with a forked cucumber. Seems that Caroline, to avenge my death, decided to kill 5 of our fellow tour members in a rage and was finally killed by Shayne as he killed her. Caroline was quite melodramatic and did a great job.

That night, we all went to a club called the Katin club, from which I had to support Shayne on the way home, because he was incredibly fucked up. I mean, the guy had like 14 drinks, and could NOT stand up straight. The entire walk home (with Carrie, Caroline, Mario, and Alyssa in company), he was insisting that he was great, so I'd let go of him and he'd fall over. Tres amusant. Sometime this night Carrie had told him he'd better get some guy to help him home, and he said he thought I'd do fine, because I was a "strapping young lady." Thanks, I think.

Christine, Caroline, and Nathalie -- sissy with Frenchies!

Hanging with the homies and the skitzo DJ (he's somewhere around there...)

So, we get back to the hotel, and Matt and Andy are inviting everyone into their room for drinking games. Shayne wanted to go, and promised that he wouldn't drink anymore, so we sat there and watched them all (Matt, Andy, Alyssa, and Irma) play drinking games. I was sort of stunned that men who were almost 30 were doing this, and after about 10 minutes, I got extremely bored and went to bed. Matt and Andy, on the other hand, were so loud that they kept Carrie, their neighbor, up all night -- she eventually told them that if they didn't shut up, she was going to call hotel security. Wee haw.

5/31: Day Five, Delphi to Lamia to Kalambaka

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