Olympia - home of the ancient Olympic Games

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
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Trip End Jul 10, 2011


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Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday 10.04.2011 – We headed off to Olympia which is only 21 km east of Pyrgos and parked the bike in the main street of the village and decided to have some breaky before we hit the archeological site for a look see. We ordered what we thought was a toasted ham and cheese sandwich only to discover we were served a large bowl of yogurt and honey. Never mind, it was delicious and better for us anyway!

We then bumped into a group of Australians who were on a bus tour of Europe, having started in London. We answered all their questions about the bike as they recognized the Qld number plate. They had spent the night in Olympia and were given free time in the morning to visit the Games site, which was only 500 metres walking distance from their hotel. Their attitude was nonchalant to say the least! They didn't plan on seeing the site because "it was just another old ruin." To each their own we suppose.

Olympia is famous as the site of the ancient Olympic Games. It also was the location of the Temple of Zeus that housed the gold & silver covered statue of Zeus himself (the top dog of the Ancient Greek Gods), – and it was recognized as one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.   

Today Olympia is famous for the lighting of the Olympic flame before the start of each Games and begins its trek to the site of the Hosting City as part of the Olympic Torch Reply and where the flame burns whilst completion is in progress. 

We spent an engrossing time walking around and marveled at a temple called the Philippeion commissioned by Phillip of Macedon and later completed by his son, Alexander the Great. Given that the Ancient Olympic Games played such an important part of life back then, we reasoned it probable that Phillip and Alexander most likely would have visited this site to inspect a temple they had commissioned. To think that we were likely standing on the same spot as these giants of history made us tingle inside and made the whole visit worthwhile. What did these Australians who chose not to walk 500 metres this morning miss out on? They will never know. 

We walked through the Crypt, a vaulted passage way that links the Stadium to the Altis which is the sacred grove of Olympia. The Stadium site was overloaded with kids on school excursions. The highlight for them, and great entertainment for us, was when they all lined up at “the start line”  at the Stadium to run a foot race on the same track used by ancient athletes over 2000 years ago.

We passed the Palaestra, which is the training location for ancient athletes prior to competition. Greg had a flashback to the good old days and did his impersonation of Superman - or was it Zeus?
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Comments

Chris on

Lovely shots of the ruins and I don't mean superman!!!!!!!! The weather looks kind which is a bonus.
We are having and end of term break up today so think of us with one day to go. Mr and Mrs Lane were given an honourable mention at the ANZAC service today. Happy touring. BFN
Chris

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