Monday, July 1, 2013

The Old Buzzard Flies the Coop … And goes for the gold…

When in Greece do what Greeks have been doing for centuries. Go to Delphi in search of the gods, the gold, and the glory.  Warning! Unless you have your own set of wings beware of Greek bus schedules on-line and also of ticket collectors who assure you that by leaving a ½ hour late you can arrive at your destination ½ hr early).  On the up-side, if your feathers are looking a little bedraggled you may be able to convince a kindly bus driver to drop you off in Schimatari on the way home and flap down a taxi to take you back you your nest and skip the long scenic flight path back to Athens before turning around and coming all the way back again. But back to Delphi, home of Apollo and Athena Pronaia just down the hill a bit. It’s better to do the uphill climb early in the morning while it’s still cool. Start by perching on the path for a moment and admire the Roman forum.

 Start heading up.  This is what you came for … the Sacred Way and its grand statues. Ok, Ok … they are not really there anymore so just let your imagination take flight. The Corcyrean bull, the Trojan Horse and a flock of kings and queens. Keep circling up! Next are the ‘Treasuries’. Ok, only the Athenian one is still standing, but it’s very attractive specimen in spite of its hatchling size.  Sadly its gold and other treasures are long gone. Just before you come to it you will have passed by navel of the world, marked by an omphalos (a copy of the original) which looks like the top ½ of a pointy egg sticking up from the earth. Past the Athenian treasury is a Polygonal wall of stones that are fitted so closely together they resemble the surface of a fractured egg. In front of the wall is the Rock of Sibyl (just the rock – she too has flown the coop) and the Sphinx of Naxos (actually just the pedestal as the Sphinx is now perched in the Delphi Museum). The three columns in front of the wall are all that is left of the Athenian Stoa and as you get close to the corner if you squint closely you can see the writing on the wall behind it. 

Up and around the corner to the left is the Temple of Apollo with it Doric columns and imposing entrance ramp. Left of the entrance is the Acanthus Column of Dancers (OK, was – they too are now dancing in the air-conditioned comfort of the museum). To get the buzzard’s eye view of the temple continue up and around the theater just above the nose-bleed section and feast your eyes on the site.
From here you can see down to the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia below including the remains of the round Tholos Temple.  
If your feathers are not drooping too badly yet then to go up further still and check out the stadium where the Pythian Games were held.

The judges had their own special seating.

By now it time to head down and cool your beak in a fruity slushie then enjoy the A/C in museum in the heat of the day.
Here is the missing Sphinx of Naxos, as well some of the treasury friezes –  like this one showing the Assembly of the Gods and scenes from the Trojan war.
There are also the Twins of Argos who received a somewhat dubious honor from the gods by being killed for being good sons. Personally I would pass on that and just go with a few choice pieces of gold jewellery … certainly their seemed to be enough of it to go around.


A silver plaited bull wouldn’t be a bad gift either… even if a bit big for the nest.
Or the Acanthus Column of Dancers would make a lovely new perch and the Bronze Charioteer is an option as well … nice eyelashes!  

Oh well… since no one is making any offers of gold or winners statues I may as well go and get dressed for the Canada Day party. Even Buzzards have to get cleaned up once in a while.

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