Greek Mountains

29 10 2010

Hey! No-one told me there are mountain in Greece. Actually, no-one told me anything about Greece, so I’ve been exploring as I go. Only the alphabet is vaguely familiar from the science and math training at school. Pi, Theta, Alpha, Gamma, etc. I can’t speak Greek, but I can read some of it. Which is about as useful as being able to read French. Or Albanian. But it’s fine trying to decode the street signs (but ultimately futile, as invariably there’s an English sign 20m down the road). Occasionally the scientific method of route selection needs to be employed.

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Wonder what that one means?

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Zues' temple. One of the columns has been righted.

The southern part seems to have more big piles of rocks (a.k.a. ruins of ancient buildings). I saw one of these on the map a few days ago that I couldn’t go past. So, a hundred or so kilometers out of the way (what is the way after all?) – in pouring rain I might add, and I saw the Ancient sanctuary of Olympia. That is, the ruins of Olympia. Apparently there was an earthquake, and all the buildings fell down. Pity they hadn’t put any of them back up – it’s only been 1.5 thousand years. And I saw one of the wonders of the ancient world. Well I saw the huge slab of rock and huge columns (that were tossed rather recklessly about the place) that at some point in the past had been a temple to Zues. Apparently there was a massive statue to Zues in here, which was the wonder. Kind of impressive, lucky I’ve a decent imagination.

IMG_6022No imagination was required to visualise the running track at Olympia. I couldn’t resist. 1min24sec for an up and back, and at least twice that long to get my breath back. To the bemusement of a few other tourists.

And today I’ve done battle (under the first blue sky in many days) with the mountains of Peloponnese (Πελοποννησος). They’re not massive, but they have slowed me down enough that I’ll miss the marathon in Athens tomorrow. Maybe that’s  a stroke of luck for the competitors, but it might have been nice to see. This one is to celebrate the 2500th anniversary of the battle of Marathon. Yes, that is the right number of zeros.

That pile of rocks has been there for 3,000 years, these bones were buried 5,000 years ago, that terrace has been used to grow olives for 2,000 years (some of the olive trees look like they could be that old), and a foot race is being held to celebrate something that happened 2,500 years ago. The Melbourne Cup’s 150th running is this week.  Yeah, time is on a different scale over here.


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9 responses

1 11 2010
Am I

Me encantan tus fotos 😉

1 11 2010
Steve

Hay mucho mas. Many, many more.

2 11 2010
Am I

Quiero verlo todo!!! ha,ha,ha!!
Hey! Si que puedes escribir en español! 😛

9 11 2010
Mum

Hi Stephen,
Where are you now?
You need to update your blog more often. There are many of us who want to know where you are!

10 11 2010
Steve

Yep. I should. Sorry, been too busy taking in the sun on Santorini.

14 11 2010
Mum

A bit slack love. Enjoying the Greek Ilands is ok but!!!!!!!!!

14 11 2010
Steve

Yeah, yeah. I’m working on it.

15 11 2010
tim

Call your mum stevo!

15 11 2010
Steve

done.

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