Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Off to Delphi to seek the Oracle 03/09/08 Day 48

My plan to see the ruins of Delphi are quite complicated for a few reasons. First, I have been changing my mind on when to leave so often it’s been hard to make a plan. Second, it is a complicated trek for someone who doesn’t speak any Greek at all. It’s a good thing I had a friend like Mahe to help me get the connections and transfers right.
There are a few bus changes and the bus stations are just like the states where it’s just about all locals. The station itself is quite ordinary and reminded me of a station I saw in 1972 when I was in the Army in St. Louis. O’ except that you have to pay 0.20 Euros to take a piss. I didn’t see anyone at the door so I just walked in and this big old Greek woman came running at me while I’m standing there saying the pledge of allegiance. I didn’t know what the hell she was saying I just zipped up and stepped back. I wish I could have got a picture of it. This is about 5:30am in the morning after two connections on the metro so I was in a daze.
I figured out the ticket situation and went to the area where it said Delphi. At 6am the bus is to leave and I’m felling proud that I survived the ordeal. Here comes a bus to the loading area at 6am so I get on. About a dozen others got on with me and we take off. They have ticket takers on the buses here. I’m glad because we got about 1000m down the lane and the guy has been counting heads. The bus stops and he starts checking. He comes to me and mumbles something like “you’re an idiot tourist aren’t you” I’m gone. Something’s Wrong (Junior Watson). OK so I screwed up again but how was I suppose to know. I get on the next bus at 6:15 and I’m on my way. These are nice buses too. I can hear those locals laughing behind me.
My plan is to stay for the day then try to make my way back to Athens. I’m thinking I’ll be back at about 7pm. should be a great day for an adventure. The temperature is about 31C but it might get a little warmer. It’s a 3hr ride and I’m now writing this while at a halfway rest stop. It’s a small restaurant with just snacks though. We only have 20 minutes. I got a few pictures of the countryside which is very nice. All I can think about is the history here when I look over the landscape.
The bus rolled right past the ruins entrance and into the village of Delphi. The bus stop was a little shop where they wanted to sell me everything. It turns out the ladies that were laughing behind me were tourist too. Three ladies from Chicago. Now remember we are on the local bus, there were lots of tour group buses but the four of us went local and for 14 Euros. I was starting to introduce myself to the Chicago gals when we decided all about the same time that we need to start walking down the hill. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the museum. I walked past the beautiful little restaurant patio that was just starting to open. “That” I told the ladies, “is where I’m going to have a late lunch”.
At the gate I decided to go to the museum first. My friend Mahe had told me that it is better that way. As I started thru the place I lost the Chicago ladies after about an hour but it was a little crowded. I wanted to start hiking up the trail. I’m taking lots of pictures as I walk so I won’t bore you with that much of a description. I’m not that sure what I’m looking at anyway.
As I write this I’m sitting under a beautiful olive tree overlooking the Theater. It is so nice and pleasant here I could stay for hours. To bad there aren’t a few friends here with a bottle of wine, some cheese and bread but that will come later at the restaurant I spotted below. There is a nice cool breeze and I’m listening to one of my favorite blues artist. Mem Shannon, No Religion. Great song.

Well I made it to the restaurant patio and it’s just as I expected. Great waiter and a beautiful Greek Salad. The waiter took the picture. I stayed a little too long though because I had to hurry to the shop where the bus comes. When I got there I did the same damn thing. I was late so I jumped on the first bus. Now there was no excuse for this. This bus was going the wrong direction. All I can say is I had a lot of wine with my salad. Within seconds I realize what I’ve done and I start to calculate the options. First I check my money and I have enough to spend the night wherever. Then I see we are headed for the little fishing village that I could see from the hillside. Great I say, lets go. In the meantime the ticket master sees that I’m an idiot and wants my ticket. I didn’t understand him or he I but I give him a real shit eaten’ grin and he motions to stay where I was. He has a radio I see and now I figure he is setting it up for me to meet the other bus going back. Great, Apollo is looking out for me again. I got to see the village and still caught the right bus. I also saw the campground that I was planning to stay in had I not found these friends to climb Mt. Olympus with.
As I pulled up to the shop where I where I had made the error the Chicago ladies were waiting and laughing again. They had seen me get on the wrong bus and thought I was history. I gave them a story to tell.
So you might think that this is a big day and a mediocre story. I’m not even close to the end. Go grab your favorite drink then read the rest.
I was so impressed with the bus on the way out this morning but on the way back, well all I can say is it reminded me of Pakistan. No air, stinky and I sat in the back where a spring was sticking out the seat and kept skewering me in the ass. I felt like a Greek Kabob. I endured this for three hours then the two metro transfers and a 15min walk. “Alright I’m at Mahe’s house.” I’m going to sleep well tonight.
As I walk in the door at about 8pm she tells me we are going to dinner with her father and a friend of his. Then she says you got 15 min. I don’t know what I did then except I was on the edge of the couch with my face in my hands. I was just trying to catch a second wind but I guess she didn’t understand. She just kept saying lets go. So I took a deep breath and I got my act together. It was easier after a two min shower and 4 Excedrin.
We went to an original Greek restaurant not for tourists. It was a below ground place with only 4 tables. The owner is the chief and the waiter. He prepares the food for his friends and the always come back. No menus. It was absolutely the best. Mahe’s Father is a special man. I’m not sure but in his 70’s and his friend Dimitri was so funny, it was a special night. Mahe’s father told a story of his WW11 medal from the Queen that he gave back to England. Seems he was one of 10 or so Sailors to survive the sinking of their ship. I won’t go into the whole story but he’s quite a man. The restaurant is known as a Kotoki Restaurant and we shared a special wine made at the restaurant called Reisitine Wine. There are lots of resin wines but this is a special type that was too good. Then we went for Greek Ice Cream. Greek love there Ice Cream and their Honey, Olive Oil and just about everything Greek. I think I agree. I like this country.

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