DAY 5 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10: THERMOPYLAE, DELPHI, ATHENS
Today was another great day here in Greece. It was a day involving a lot of driving, but with very scenic views along the way! Other than a brief shower in the afternoon, the weather was again pleasant, with clouds and sun and highs in the 70s.
After another great breakfast, we checked out of our hotel and began our drive towards Delphi. We read from Acts 20 and Philippians 4 as we started the day. About an hour and a half into our drive, we drove past the area of Thermopylae. It was here in 480 where King Leonidas, along with 300 Spartan greeks and 700 Thespian greeks were defeated by the Persians (who, incidentally, would be defeated in a sea battle shortly after this one). Today, only a monument stands in honor of the courage of these 1,000 greek warriors.
“We drove a lot today through the amazing Greek countryside! I never knew Greece had so many high mountains! The classical site of Delphi was amazing. The ruins were so impressive!” -Tour Member-
Continuing southward, we arrived in Delphi. Following a classic Greek lunch once again, we arrived at the archaeological site. First, we walked through the museum. Many impressive artifacts are displayed here, including the famous bronze charioteeer (dating to 476 BC), and the Gallio Inscription. This was written by a scribe named Claudius who mentions “my friend Gallio the proconsul of Achaia.” Luke mentions hi as well (Acts 18:13).
The archaeological site nearby was quite impressive. We ascended through the site, complete with the famous Temple of Apollo, a theater, and a stadium. The Pythian Games were held here in Delphi every four years in honor of Apollo. Below on the other side was where the gymnasium was located. Delphi was known in this classical period of Greece as the place of oracles. The women who shared oracles were call pythia. Acts 16:16 uses the same word. Paul and Silas preached that accepting Christ as spoken in the very Word (e.g. oracle) of God and trusting in God’s Spirit is what gives purpose and direction for our lives!
Following the visit of this incredible sire, we drove to Athens. We arrived about 3 hours later. We checked into our hotel and enjoyed a late dinner together. Many in the group then enjoyed an optional walk to Constituion Square, with others walking to the top of Mt. Lycabetus for a panoramic view of the city and of the Acropolis.