The road from Athens to Delphi goes between the mountains. Clouds hang over the mountains and there are vertical white columns of steam.
We overcome the distance of 240 kilometers on a rented mini Van in 3 hours.
In the ancient world, every self-respecting person came to Delphi. In past times, works of art and jewelry from all over Hellas – gifts from cities and islands were collected here. What was not there – the Sphinx and the Lions, the golden statue of Apollo, the rich treasury and utensils, temples and columns.
I kept thinking how many days did it get here from Asia Minor, from island states in the Aegean and Ionian Seas? In Delphi there were Midas of Lydia, Tarquinius the Proud, Croesus, Alexander of Macedon.
What were Delphi famous for? Here in the temple of Apollo, the Pythia broadcasted the future, gave answers to questions, conveyed to people the will of the gods. From the temple there was an exit to a crevice in the mountains, in which, under the influence of special fumes, the Pythians entered into a trance and transmitted messages in verse.
Delphi flourished in the 5th – 3rd centuries BC. Even before the foundation of the temple, according to local legend, shepherds grazed goats on Mount Parnassus. The goats at the crevice of the cave began to behave strangely: they bleated with almost human voices.
Another legend is connected with the god of the sun, art and divination – Apollo. As soon as he was born on the island of Delos, he immediately took a bow and golden arrows and flew to Parnassus to fight the monster Pithon. He killed Python and for 8 years atoned for the sin of murder. In ancient Greece, only people with an unsullied reputation were allowed into Delphi.
At the foot of the mountain is Kastalsky spring with sacred water. Before entering the Delphic Temple, travelers were washed in the waters of the Kastalsky spring. Then they went to the temenos – a sacred piece of land. There was the temple of Apollo and the oracle.
Myths say that Apollo leads dances with nymphs at the waters of the Kastalsky spring. When he leads round dances the earth and the gods rejoice.
I washed my face with running water at Kastalsky spring. A tree grows next to it, it seemed strange to me.
Already when we left twice, I returned to the tree. The tree attracted my attention, and the most understandable thing I can say: As if the tree has grown together with a rational being.
We climb the Via Sacra – the sacred road. The first interesting object on our way is the Omphalos stone – the navel of the earth, or the center of the world. Now, a smooth gray stone with white veins is installed in this place, resembling half an egg cut horizontally. At the local museum, I saw another Omphalos in brown floral patterns.
According to legend, Zeus released two eagles and at this point the eagles met.
What is a navel? This is the place through which the child is connected with the mother and the main source of nutrition for the child. Maybe a closer contact with the planet is being established here and a person receives help and better options for his future?
We climb higher to Mount Parnassus and before us appears the temple of Apollo in the form of several columns on a stone foundation. Its dimensions are 60 by 23 meters. It was built in the style of the peripter and had 15 columns in length and 6 in width. Now he has left the foundation and several columns.
From this place opens a unique, one of the most beautiful views of the mountains and the valley.
I was wondering where is the cleft in the rock, near which the Pythian priestess sat and spoke her prophecies. In front of me was a rectangle of a temple, next to stone blocks. In the side facing down, in the rear, stone masonry was visible in the ground.
A feature of Greek museum parks is the people whistling a whistle. You can’t sit on ancient stones, you can’t touch with your hands, everything around is closed and tied with ropes. On the one hand, it makes sense because there are too many visitors and everyone will be trampled, and the marble will turn black. I wanted to see what’s down there. After all, history accurately says that there was an exit to the cave in the temple connected with a crevice. Together with the student, we went down and went behind the temple. I looked in, and there was a rectangular stone box underground, the size of a room. Then we whistled, and had to leave. I managed to see that there is no crevice in the rock anywhere. Could be bombarded in this stone box?
At the very top of the mountain is a stadium, quite well preserved. It held the Pythian Games in honor of Apollo.
Not far from the temple of Apollo is a museum with what survived from being pulled by all who could.
Only Emperor Nero took 500 marble statues from here to his palaces.
In the museum I liked the sphinx and the statue of Nicky – the goddess of victory. The statue was originally located at the very top of the temple of Apollo, and as if emitted the light with which it has been saturated for hundreds of years.
If you go down from the Kastalsky spring, then after a few meters the road begins leading to the temple of Athena. The temple has an unusual round base.
Especially in the spring, in a bright yellow carpet of wild flowers.
Delphi is an amazing place. It breathes differently. It has its own beauty and harmony. Maybe millennia-old pilgrimages created a special halo, maybe nature itself with crevices, vapors and greenery of mountains and valleys tried, in any case, Delphi stand out and remember forever.