All these posts are coming one after the other as I make use of the wi-fi services here in the thoroughly modern town of Olympia…. juxtaposed with its ancient site.
I am not sure which is more modern though. I have been bathed in such spacious, elegant and orderly sophistication. A great benefit to be early in the season and so not competing with hoards for a quiet photo shot. (I will post a few pics later)
It is hard to describe the tranquility or the beauty of the archeological site, in dazzling sun and carpeted with every colour of spring. The sheer scale is one thing, and then with settlements going back to 2000BC and progressing through Greek to Roman architecture, it brings history vividly alive. A group of young visitors from America put themselves to the challenge. From the marvelous view through the entrance of the barrel-arched tunnel I saw the boys set off from the far end of the stadium; racing for all their worth, just like the ancient athletes, only with their clothes still on! It was somehow breathtaking and so incredibly moving that even now I can hardly see straight through the blur as I write!
If you aren’t already jealous, three gorgeous young Greek visitors had been told by Thoukisedes that I was at the camp site, so could we take some photos. It is so yummy putting my arms around those slim young waists! Outrageous behaviour from middle-aged nanny with bike!
As for the museum, I have never seen such a collection of wonderful artifacts or such a huge number of the most exquisitely carved statuary. What a privilege to be able to see these incredible works so beautifully preserved and displayed. More tears!
Equally touching in a completely different way was the very old shoe-shine man, kneeling and polishing with his boxes, as he went about his business this morning amongst local men taking their morning coffee. I imagined that perhaps this is one way they can help to support this old man through hard times. Every where I go the story is the same. People shake their heads and speak of the dreadful economic situation.
At the same time they also smile and say ‘we are happy because of the sun and the sea’