Beginning with one of the worst breakfasts of the tour, the visit to Delphi was one of the highlights of Greece for a lot of people — it's an excellently preserved site with an amazing amount of inscriptions in Ancient Greek, showing a rich history in the ancient world. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most famous prophetess of the ancient world. The Pythia, the head priestess of the temple, foretold such events as the Athenians' victory in the battle of Salamis, the downfall of the Lydians, and the death of Nero. As we toured the site, we were shown a number of temples, including the Athenian treasury and the Adytón (seat of the Pythia herself), and inscriptions detailing important battles. The walking track went directly past the stalactites on the rock that allowed ethylene oxide to enter thelower chamber of the temple, to then be inhaled by the Pythia, giving her hallucinations of the god Apollo — the gas was discovered in 2011 through a geological survey of the area cross-referenced with writings from Herodotus and Plutarch.


After an annoying climb up the mountain (eased by the sheer amount of ancient artefacts) we saw the theatre, on which such playwrights as Sophocles and Euripides showcased their works, and the stadium, which hosted the Pythian Games, a counterpart to the ancient Olympic Games held in Olympia. Almost as good as seeing the ancient stadium was posing for pictures with a stray cat sleeping on a bench.



After leaving the site with some 'interesting' commentary from Mr Chambers, we walked to the Delphi archaeological museum, where we saw an amazing amount of artefacts, including a bronze sheet depicting the labours of Hercules, a beautiful statue of Apollo, and a very well-preserved piece of music inscribed on a block of limestone — unfortunately, the piece was far too annoying to be attempted by anyone in the group. We essentially skipped the gift shop, due to a lack of anything interesting that cost less than 100€, and then settled in for another four hours on the bus to reach Olympia.

Harry Cook