27 September 2009

Day 126

Tholos 8, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

48.4 Kilometers.
I woke up in Gravia, got a bite to eat (some sort of pastries that tasted oddly like breakfast "Hot Pockets") and started off walking towards Delphi. Delphi. Another place I was very excited to go.
I walked for almost two hours until my clothes were dry, and I was already thirsty when I started running. I stopped by a gas station before too long and downed a liter and a half of water, and kept going along the curvy mountain roads towards Delphi.
I missed a few "shortcuts" that didn't seem to exist in real life, so the run end up being a little longer than I had expected. When I got a couple kilometers from Delphi, I got on an ancient footpath that I ended up walking due to fatigue and pretty terrible terrain.
I was so excited to be in Delphi. All of those Core Curriculum texts from Columbia definitely made the place seem a little bit magical.
I got something to eat in town and went first to the (very nice) museum where I was surprised to see the Kleobis and Biton statues, and several other Greek masterpieces that I had seen in the early days of my Art Humanities class.
From the museum I walked over to the ruins and saw what was left of many buildings mentioned in ancient literature. Delphi was the religious center of ancient Greece, and it still has an air of mystery because of this.
As I got near the temple on the top of the hill, a woman informed me that I couldn't enter. The upper areas of the site were closed due to a recent rock slide. I guess the oracle wasn't in anyways.
In the early evening I went back into the town and started walking around. I ate a bad and overpriced dinner in a tourist restaurant and got going on finding a place to sleep. It had gotten late. I went and spoke with a man in a souvenir shop, and he seemed very nice and interested in my story...but once I told him that I needed a place to sleep, his expression completely changed. I am used to this. He told me I should try going around to hotels and telling my story. I didn't have anything better to do, so I went around and told my story at a large percentage of the hotels in Delphi. I told them that I wasn't looking for a room or a bed, but for just a place inside somewhere...even in a closet. I spoke with probably 6 hotels...and got nothing.
Eventually, I decided to just go to a cafe/bar and try that method. It had started to rain, so being inside was something that I needed. I ordered a coke, and slowly got into talking with the bartender. He charged my phone for me and tried for a long time to think of a place where I could sleep. As I was just about to head out to some parking lot where there was a trailer of some sort and a guy who might let me sleep there if I asked, another guy who worked in the place said that he had a room I could sleep in. Sami, who was there working from Egypt offered the place, but I had to wait until he got off work. I spent the rest of the night, until late, talking with the three young people who were working the bar. Around 3 am I went to Sami's house, where the lights weren't working and where took a shower in candlelight. It was too late to wash my clothes (they wouldn't be dry in the morning), so I resolved to just smell a little bit worse in the morning. At least I would sleep.


  1. You didn't mention if you had a bed, a sofa or just the floor...either way it was inside! I loved Delphi oh so many years ago that I visited...the oracle was impressive but a certain, cute greek boy was better!

  2. Ryan, you should really be asking what's inside you eat here. We tend to cook lots of unusual stuff, from aubergines to eels...

    Some other details: Most (if not all) ancient sites in Greece have something of a magic touch surrounding them, mainly because of the mystic rituals that were being held. And you should remember that Delphi was once concidered the centre of the earth (what was called "the belly-button of the earth" - "omfalos tis gis" in Greek). If you are interested in ancient mysticism, Greece has a lot to offer...

    About the "overpriced" bit... You should *really* get used to that. When you get to Athens, you will notice that EVERYTHING is overpriced...

  3. It was nice to read the above blog, sounds like you have an expert on route with you! That is great, I loved reading about the belly button..thank you, unknown blogger above!
    I loved the photo, it was so very much like the photos we imagine when thinking of Greece...and I can appreciate the fact that you can now see the things you only saw in books before. Awesome. I dont think it a good idea to ask what you are eating...sometimes it is better not to know!! Love you son!

  4. awespme photo..

    Peace and safe running my friend;)

  5. Delphi... just the name is inspiring!

    and amusing at the same time since for many years a friend of mine insisted on calling me Pythia! :p

  6. Night after night, a new adventure in trying to find some place to get horizontal for a few hours. Wow. Hang in there!

  7. Ryan, Great photo and we're so proud of you for not giving up when some days are harder than others. Honestly every time when Doc complains about his aches and pain working out at the gym. I tell him to go read your blog. Please be careful and know that you're always in our thoughts and prayers.Love Carters.

  8. I loved the photo, it was so very much like the photos we imagine when thinking of Greece...and I can appreciate the fact that you can now see the things you only saw in books before. Awesome. I don't think it a good idea to ask what you are eating...sometimes it is better not to know!!
    road trip France