On the road to Delphi

We left Athens yesterday in a van. I could probably bore you with details, but I'm not sure I could relive the experience again. Suffice it to say, it was a lot of taxis, buses, cars, motorcycles and us. No one signals turns and everyone drives as fast as they want. Renee was our designated driver. (Did I mention the van was a stick shift?) She was a pro. I think if she decides to quit her job in the states, she could become a taxi driver in Athens. I sat in the third row of seats with the luggage so most of what I saw was the back of people's heads, but it was like being on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disney. We only missed one turn (miracles) and were heading out of town in no time. We took the northern route. I was told we had about 5 hours of driving ahead of us. Not so. The roads are a series of 90 degree turns as you wind through the mountains. Our road took us along the coast. Gorgeous blue water, mountains behind. And us blazing along at 20 kilometers over the speed limit. Since most of my view was out the side window, imagine my surprise when we passed this caution sign with a cow on it. We all laughed because in Minnesota you have the same sign for deer crossing. And laughed again half an hour later when we spotted our first cow. A few (hundred) turns later, we had to stop for a herd of sheep that were switching pastures. As we're hanging out the window taking pictures of the herd all I could think was what are they thinking of all the crazy Americans taking pics of our everyday life?

We stopped at the Oracle of Delphi and hiked the ruins. This is our entire group at the stadium. When I was here in 1984, most of the ruins were accessible. , everything is roped off so the shot of us running in the stadium I hoped to get wasn't possible. So, I had to settle for a standing shot by the stadium.

We arrived at our home base for the boat around 9pm. The hotel overlooks the harbor and is very nice. It's on the hillside above the water and each set of rooms perch on the side of the mountain. A thunderstorm kept us company during dinner. We watched it converge on us from both the north and south. A lightning strike knocked out our party at about midnight. We were serenaded at dinner by a couple of musicians.

I woke this morning to the call of the church bells from the town up the road. We pick up the boat today at 6pm, so it's hanging out at the hotel pool for the day. Right now, I'm sitting on the terrace overlooking the harbor with a cup of strong Greek coffee at my elbow. It's 9am. The sun has cleared the mountains behind us and is warming the air. There is a light breeze, just enough to stir the palm fronds and bring the faint clang of goat bells to my ears from the nearby fields. Life is tough.