that go pop in the night, pilgrimage to Delphi and the center
of the ancient Greek world, paean to air conditioning
GREECE - The day before my cohorts and I left for Delphi,
I had two close encounters with Mother Nature.
in the middle of the night, while on a foray to retrieve
my sandals from outside, I stepped on an unidentified squishy
object. It popped.
inspection, I realized I had stepped on a medium-sized lizard.
In my bare feet. (A moment of silence please for the lizard
and my peace of mind.)
Later that day, we had a fire. A farmer in the field adjacent
to the ancient stadium had apparently started a small fire
for some purpose but the wind caught it and pushed it toward
the stadium. Professor Miller could be heard yelling at
people to get away from the fire (with probably a good measure
of Greek curses thrown in). The flames weren't high enough
to see from the museum but there was plenty of smoke. We
heard a small aircraft fly over, probably to locate the
fire. Moments later, a huge yellow plane came swooping toward
the smoke and expertly dumped a load of water onto the fire.
It was impressive, to say the least.
an hour after that chaos subsided, we left for Delphi. Ah,
Delphi! The (believed) center of the Greek world. The wealthy
and prestigious home of the Pythian Priestess. And hotels
with air conditioning!
Delphi was all I had hoped for. The site was beautiful,
with a breathtaking view of the gorge. Literally breathtaking;
it was a tough hike to the stadium above the theater (where
Nero sang, much to people's dismay). But it was worth it.
Over the course of two hours, we saw the site of Delphi
and the museum. Then we went back to our hotel and enjoyed
the air conditioning.
to our chagrin, our time at Delphi was short. We drove back
to Nemea Sunday morning in the little car we rented, affectionately
called "Spidos." (We wanted to call him speedy
but that wasn't very Greek, so we added an "os"
to it - Speedos. But in Greek, the "e" sound is
an "i".) Anyhow, we're back at Nemea now and happier
for having taken a break to go to Delphi (with the air conditioning).
at Delphi where Nero sang and people feigned death in
order to be carried away from his performance