Wednesday 26 June 2013

Greece: Day Eight- Olympia

Tuesday morning marked day two of the bus tour, and had us starting the day by 7:00am. We had a fantastic breakfast at the hotel and were on the road by 7:45

I am mostly loving the food in Greece, likely due to the fact I have always enjoyed Greek cuisine. While there is a lot of meats I don't eat on the menus (lamb, veal, rabbit etc) there is always chicken, pork and fish. I have had chicken skewers a number of times along with pita and feta. The feta is amazing here --- it is like Ireland and Guinness... You can get feta at home, but it doesn't compare at all to here. I've had rice a few times an its much lighter and tastier here, and one night I had squid. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I had no idea what squid looked like. It was essentially a fish, but with a tentical tail-like thing. It was also delicious! Another other thing I have discovered is stuffed vine leaves. This is a common greek dish, where vine leaves are stuffed with rice. In terms of Breakfast the hotels have a buffet which is far more my style then the Irish/Scottish/English version. While there are always eggs, bacon and some sort of potato, there are also cheeses, tomatoes, fruits, and pastries. I'm not talking just breakfast pasty like croissants but cakes, custards and other desert like goodies. They also have greek yogurt which I plan on trying at least once. I tend to hate it at home, but again maybe the Guinness philosophy will work again with it being awesome here! Despite all the selections for Breakfast I try to stick with lighter options so I don't feel sick on the bus. But I did cheat once and hve some crepes with Nutella. 

Our first stop today was for photos in picturesque areas of the Peloponnesus which is the region we are in. 

(Photo: A castle in Nafplion)

(Photo: Nafplion town) 

(Photos: scenery from high in the mountains) 

We stopped at a gas station/rest stop for a small break which was interesting as the toilets had no toilet seats. I haven't encountered this since I was in Italy back when I was 14. I had thought maybe things had changed since in my recent Europe travels I haven't encountered this, but I guess not. 

We made it to Olympia in the afternoon where we were spending the rest of the day. Olympia is where the Olympics were founded, and as we drove in Theadora - the guide - talked about various gods/goddesses and the myths attached to them. I am happy to report I knew them all, so I did retain some info from my mythology courses! 

(Photo: Alex and Eva)

From Wikipedia:  
"Olympia is a sanctuary of Ancient Greece known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, the most famous games in history. The Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical Antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The first Olympic Games were in honor of Zeus."

The site also contains temples of Zeus, Hera and was a sacred site to the Greeks. 

(Photos: Olympia)  

(Photo: Pam, Alex and Jenn)

(Photo:Brian and I) 

(Photos: Olympia) 

(Photo: Syd, Ally, Eva, Mikhali, Alex and Charlie - group grandkod photo!)

(Photo: Charlie and Me)

(Photos: Olympia)

(Photos: The kids running across Olympic stadium) 
(Photo: Todd, Leah, Sydney and Ally)

(Photo: Chris, Mikhali and Alex) 

We stopped for lunch outside the attached museum at a place called the Ambrosia Cafe which was horrible. The food, service - everything was just awful.

After lunch most of the group went into the museum where some of the artifacts from Olympia are housed. I opted to stay with Jenn, Erin and the three little girls. 

(Photos: The Olympia museum)

Once the group came back we drive up the mountain to our hotel. It was awesome! It's like one of those motel-like places you see in the US where all the rooms are outside along corridors but a high end version. There was also beautiful views from the balconies and a wonderful restaurant that overlooked the pool. Again, I planned to swim but fell asleep until just before dinner. 

Dinner was excellent - some of the best food we have had. We all dined outside overlooking the pool, and were able to see the sunset. 

(Photos: Pool) 

(Photos: Sunset dinner) 

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