Posted by: Joseph J. Skarzenski | July 12, 2009

Jam-packed excursion

Students in front of the ancient theatre at Apollo's Sanctuary

Students in front of the ancient theatre at Apollo's Sanctuary

Students left this morning at approximately 8:30 AM for a memorable weekend excursion. From departure we immediately headed for Delphi, where the group would see the famous Apollo’s Sanctuary. Although it would be one long bus ride later once we arrived to see the ancient site, students were for the upcoming visits from the moment they woke up.

Students receiving a guided tour at Apollo's Sanctuary

Students receiving a guided tour at Apollo's Sanctuary

Upon arriving to Apollo’s Sanctuary, the group waited briefly outside of the site to meet our tour guide. After collecting ourselves, we headed in and started with an examination of some ruins in the lower parts of the sanctuary. There our guide spoke to us about some of the different buildings that existed in the sanctuary. She explained to students some of the purposes of various buildings that were visible from our position. She also explained the current status of the sanctuary, and how there is an active restoration to the track–located at a higher altitude in the sanctuary.

Following our brief introduction and background to Apollo and his temple, we began our ascension to some of the more interesting sites. Along our way walls, pillars, and other ruins, some of which had ancient Greek inscribed on them. Our guide explained to us what some of the messages meant. One student on the program–who actually took ancient Greek in college-eagerly asked questions regarding the direct text that appeared on the walls in the sanctuary. Continuing our walk upward, our guide showed us the Athenian Treasury . We learned about the structure’s significance, that is, its commemoration to the Athenians in their victory at the Battle of Marathon. Before moving on, our guide showed us the Omphalos, commonly known as the “navel of the world.”

At that point, we were walking up to the ancient theatre. After learning about what the theatre did for those in sanctuary and some of the functions it served, we had the opportunity to take a group photograph inside it. Our tour guide answered any questions before we began to descend back down to the museum. Along our walk back, students took pictures liberally, enjoying the amazing view from the sanctuary along with the great sites available to see.

Looking at some of the art at the Delphi Archaeological Museum

Looking at some of the art at the Delphi Archaeological Museum

Our last visit place to visit in Delphi was the Delphi Archaeological Museum. There students walked freely throughout the museum to see some amazing pieces of art, such as the Sphinx of Naxos and the Kleobis and Biton statues. Probably the most impressive display at the museum was the Charioteer of Delphi, which is arguably the best preserved bronze statue of Ancient Greece. Students were leaving the museum before they knew it, in order to continue with our weekend expedition.

Shortly after boarding our private bus, we stopped driving to have a fantastic lunch. We were then on our way to Olympia. Many slept in the bus on the long ride to our hotel. When we finally arrived, the group was amazed by the resort-

Dinner at Olympion Asty hotel

Dinner at Olympion Asty hotel

style setup of the Olympion Asty hotel. After picking room mates for the night and settling in, some of the group headed for hotel’s beautiful pool. Freshened up, we met for dinner at 9:00 PM in the hotel’s lobby. The view we had was absolutely amazing. The memorable night continued with fantastic food, and incomparable surroundings. Following our satisfying meal as a group, students returned to their hotel rooms. Some went to bed early in order to be rested for tomorrow’s busy day. Others decided that tonight would be ideal to catch up on completing homework assignments.

A pleasant view to enjoy with dinner

A beautiful view to enjoy with dinner

Tomorrow we start our morning bright and early to visit the Temple of Zeus. We will continue our expedition with a visit to the acclaimed ancient theatre in Epidavros. After stopping for a quick visit in Corinth, we will return back to Athens and arrive home at approximately 8 PM.

Please click the link below to see photos from today, which include our visit to Apollo’s Sanctuary and our dinner at the Olympion Asty hotel.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39885149@N06/sets/72157621224374489/show/

Also make sure you check out the bulletin from the first week of the program.

JTG Session 1 Bulletin 1

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