17 Comments40th Anniversary Trip, Greek Odyssey, History, Memoir, Photography, Travel

greek odyssey

All my life I’ve wanted to visit Greece and indulge my passion for ancient history, archaeology and mythology. When my husband first broached the subject of marking our 40th anniversary with a vacation, it came to mind immediately. Thus, we embarked on the trip of a lifetime! Come along for the ride.

This is a continuing series. See other chapters HERE.

Part IV: Ancient Olympia, Gulf of Corinth & Nafpaktos
Sept. 11, 2013

[Day Two of Four, Classical Greece Bus Tour]

day 2 classical greece tour
Map data ©Google 2013

Day Two Itinerary:

In the morning visit the archaeological site with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, the ancient stadium and the archaeological museum. Then drive on through the plains of Ilia and Achaia and over the magnificent cable stayed bridge which crosses the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion. Pass by the picturesque towns of Nafpaktos (Lepanto) and Itea, arrive in Delphi. Dinner and overnight stay.

Here we were, at the site of the Ancient Olympics; another one of those “pinch me” moments!

The Olympics began in 776 BC and, just like the modern version, were held every four years, until Emperor Theodosius I ended them in 394 AD.

ancient olympia
1: North-East Propylon– 2: Prytaneion – 3: Philippeion – 4: Temple of Hera – 5: Pelopion – 6: Nymphaeum (Shrine with fountain) of Herodes Atticus – 7: Metroon – 8: Treasuries – 9:Vaulted tunnel with Statue Row, leading into the stadium) – 10: Stadium – 11: Echo Portico (aka Heptaechos) – 12: Building of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II – 13: Hestia stoa – 14: Hellenistic Buildings – 15: Temple of Zeus – 16: Altar of Zeus – 17: Ex-voto of Achaeans – 18: Ex-voto of Mikythos – 19: Nike of Paeonius – 20: Gymnasion – 21: Palaestra – 22: Theokoleon – 23: Heroon – 24: Phidias’ workshop and paleochristian basilica – 25: Baths of Kladeos – 26: Greek baths – 27 and 28: Hostels – 29: Leonidaion – 30: South baths – 31: Bouleuterion, (Council House) – 32: South stoa – 33: Villa of Nero
Treasuries: I-XIII

As you can see by the map, it’s a sprawling site with many points of interest.

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At this point, we doubled back towards the entrance.

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After spending all morning at the site, we took a tour of the Olympia Museum.

A few highlights:

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We stopped for a late lunch at this point and were happy to get some rest!

Our journey continued, towards the Gulf of Corinth, where we crossed the The Rio-Antirrio bridge, (official name; the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge, after the inventor). Completed in 2004, it is the world’s longest multi-span, cable-stayed bridge and crosses the the Gulf near Patras, linking the town of Rion in the Pelopponese area to Antirrio on mainland Greece by road. (Ferry boat had been the only option until then.)

cable bridge gulf of corinth

Our final rest break before Delphi was a charming little town, (and they are ALL incredibly so!), called Nafpaktos, aka Naupactus or Lepanto.


Nafpaktos (2)

Still almost 100 km (63 miles) until our final destination for the night, (Delphi), and we were all ready to crash. It was a good kind of tired though and looking back at these photos now, my mind is blown all over again!

What a trip!

©D.D.B. 2013

Coming up: Delphi; home of the famous Oracle and Kalambaka.

What’s YOUR dream destination?

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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    1. Hermes; the god of travel, language and writing. What’s not to love? 🙂 I’m also partial to Apollo, the god of music, arts and knowledge. Greek Mythology is a fascinating subject. Thanks again for browsing the travelogue.

  1. Got to love those little towns that are seemingly ‘dead’ during the heat of the day. Only during lunch you can find some life and then life starts around sunset. Beautiful pictures, Debbie. I hope I will able to make a trip like that someday.

  2. Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing this post. I was looking for some pictures of Greece on Google and I was brought to your website. Upon seeing your photos, I can tell that Greece has really preserved their infrastructure and culture. One day, I will plan to go there with my family for a vacation. Lovely pictures by the way. 😉

    1. Glad you found my blog through Google, Eldrin! 🙂 Yes, our Greek holiday was wonderful and there will be even more posts in the new year, so please stay tuned, or even better, subscribe via email. Thanks so much for visiting today and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  3. Hey Debbie,

    Don’t you wish if you could see how ancient Olympics were held? 🙂 I’d love to. Everytime I look into those ancient architectures I find how majestic they are Debbie. Feel like modern architectures are still learning from ’em.

    BTW Hera reminds me of anger / hate, but Temple of Hera resembles quite the opposite. Isn’t it?

    Mmm… Olympia Museum got the golden nuggets. I wish if they offered a virtual tour online. I just been to their site and it’s indeed a virtual tour 😀 Thanks for sharing the link dear.

    Thanks once again for taking us with you to enjoy the moments of your journey Debbie 🙂 It’s indeed very convincing. I think you should write more about your travelling adventures along with puppy stories 🙂

    You have a lovely week dear!


    1. Hi Mayura; I would love to go back in time and experience what life was like back then. It is truly amazing how advanced the Ancient civilizations were. Glad you’re enjoying these posts. Thanks so much for sharing them and taking the time to comment as well! 😀 There are hundreds of photos, so, there will definitely be more travel articles. Cheers!

  4. Hi Debbie

    You sure have a lot of wonderful pictures of your trip. The water is so blue.
    It looks so peaceful and yet you can feel the history that surrounds the places you visited. Picturing what must have transpired centuries ago before everything crumpled. Fascinating.


    1. Hi Mary; There are hundreds of photos – with many more posts to come. 🙂 I was struck by the colour of the water and the sky, as well. Ancient History is one of my passions and I was soaking it all in; a lifetime of memories! Thanks for visiting.

  5. Hi Debbie!

    What a great tour…I enjoyed all the pictures and videos you have shared. I feel like I just took a vacation! The best thing of all is that you have accomplished your dream.

    Many Blessings,

  6. Thanks for sharing these pictures with us Debbie! I was just showing my husband and mentioned how I’d like to go there one day.

    Of course he said “sure babe” laughed it off because he knows I’m afraid of flying :).

    Happy Monday hon! See ya in the socialverse :)!

    1. Hi Corina; Glad you enjoyed the photos – more to come. 🙂 Fear of flying can be conquered, but, I can imagine how difficult it may be. My bug phobia won’t ever be cured. LOL Thanks so much for visiting and have a great week!

  7. Greece is one of the places I would really love to visit and photograph, another would be Ireland and Italy.. I really would love to spend more time seeing the world and capturing it as I see it.


    1. Hi Ed; We came home from Greece with hundreds of photos. The memories will last a lifetime! 🙂 Italy is wonderful too and we did spend some time there, but visiting family and friends, rather than sight seeing. Not our first trip – we did the Grand Tour in 1990. Thanks so much for visiting The Den. This is an ongoing series. Stay tuned!