120522 Olympia 22 May Tuesday

I overlookied telling you in yesterday’s post about the Fish Spa we visited.  In Corfu, while doing the touristy thing, we saw a sign that said “Fish Spa”.  Well, you gotta go try it some day.  You go in and all these people are sitting around with their feet in fish tanks; and yes, there are little fish in them gobbling away at your cracked and smelly feet, cleaning up the skin that doesn’t need to be carted around the streets.  What an experience that would be!  No one decided to give it a go but Lorraine was intent on getting a close up photo of the ordeal.

In bleak weather, and after I had been to the gym, we arrive at the little town of Katakolon.  This is the port that serves the well-known town of Olympia – made famous each four years for the lighting of the flame that is used for the Olympic games.

The original Olympics began in the eleventh century as a small regional festival, dedicated to the god Zeus.  The origins of the town itself are the Mycenaeans who worshipped the goddess Rhea, sister of Cronus and mother of Zeus – I know them both very well.  Zeus went on to becoming the top god and founder of the Olympic games.  The first Olympic games were held in 776 BC and reached their height of popularity in 576 BC.  The events included foot races, wrestling, discus, javelin, long jump, horse and chariot racing, and a type of boxing called pancratium.  The games were banned in 426 by the emperor Theodosius II because they were pagan, and the temples were destroyed.  The Olympic games resumed once again in 1896 in Athens.

As we disembark, there is a pretty young Greek girl, dressed as if she is one of the goddesses from the flame lighting, ready to have her photo taken with us or, should it be us with her?  It is great having two nice ladies, one on either side of me.  And the then I hear, “next please”.  All my joy is gone – I am not important after all.

We find a van that takes 8 persons to the ruins of Olympia and the price is only 150 Eros total instead of USD75 each.  The driver takes us through narrow streets along the way.  The travel time is about 50 minutes and I get in some pa-nap for 20 minutes or so.  At least I see the scenery on our return.  We arrive at Olympia, only to be greeted by 40 other large coaches.

The ruins site is a walk through the Olympic Botanical Gardens – crowds of people.  There is barely room to take any photos without have some tourist in the way.  We wander around the ruins and just prior to leaving the sun comes out and improves the look of the ruins immensely.  We find the arena where the Olympics were first held.  Not too far away, is the significant site where the goddesses light the Olympic flame to be carried to the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.  We miss the ceremony by 10 days.

A quick ride back to the ship and we are back at ‘searching’ through touristy shops – well the ladies are, while I upload yesterdays post from a bar – oh, I do buy a coke to have.

After a small lunch, Lyn and I change and get a spot on the top deck next to the pool for the afternoon of vitamin D enhancement.  The ship departs at 2:30pm with a bunch of loud bursts from its horn, while other cruise ships in the area respond.  The ships band entertains us for a couple of hours.

Food is laid on and available at most times of the day.  After a smallish lunch, I think it only appropriate that I get into some nachos from the food bar over the way – delicious indeed.

At 5pm, Lyn and I depart for our sun balcony for the rest of the afternoon, while we cruise towards tomorrow’s destination, Athens.  Our entertainment tonight is Dimitris Dekavallas, an Award Winning & Internationally Acclaimed Flemenco & Spanish Guitarist.  He is very good and then we turn up at the Queen’s Lounge for another hour of Vivienne & The HALCat.  On our way to our stateroom for the night, we check the Picture Gallery and find that wonderful picture that has our Greek goddess in it – we look as great as she does – and we’re more than twice her age!

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