Today was another sunny day, with highs a little warmer today (in the mid 80s). We traveled to the southern region of Greece called the Peloponnese. We also had a great experience at another classical site filled with Greek history and mythology.
“Today we left the mountainous area of Delphi as we drove along the Adriatic coastline. It was very beautiful to say the least. The site of Olympia was massive as well. These ancient Greeks were more developed than I thought.”
The Coastline Drive / Rio-Antirrio Bridge
This morning we enjoyed a more leisurely breakfast and later departure time. As the sun came up to the east, the Adriatic Sea below reflected its rays! What a great view while sipping coffee on the deck of the hotel!
After loading up about 9 a.m., we drove down to the coastline and followed it all the way until until the Rio-Antirrio Bridge. This was a bridge started in 1988 and completed in time for the 2004 Olympic Games held in Greece. It cost 630 million Euros. Prior to crossing the bridge, we enjoyed a wonderful coffee/pastry shop as well as a short stroll down to the edge of this beautiful body of water.
We crossed the bridge into the Peloponnese. Driving another hour or so, we arrived at Olympia. Following a traditional Greek lunch right outside the site, we entered this classical site known for where the Olympic Games began in 776 BC. They were held here every four years up through 393 AD.
Located along the Alpheios River, Olympia was built in honor of Zeus. It is a massive archaeological site complete with everything you would expect to find at the Olympic Games: The gymnasium, the palestra, the Temple of Zeus (dating to the 5th century BC; it took 30 years to build), the Temple of Hera (the wife of Zeus, built in the 6th century BC), and of course a stadium that could fit 45,000 people. It was fun for all of us to line up on the starting line. Experiencing this stadium made us recall what Paul said about “running the race for the prize…” (I Cor. 9 and other passages).
In the museum we saw many impressive statues and artifacts as well. This included statues of Zeus, Apollo, the bronze soldier helmet of General Miltiades responsible for the famous victory at Marathon in 490 BC., as well as many other things.
Before arriving at the hotel right in the modern city of Olympia, we enjoyed 45 minutes of walking the quiet streets and shops. Upon checking in to the hotel, we once again enjoyed dinner together.