Friday, 24 January 2014

Olympia

Olympia, Greece

The site of the ancient Olympic games, and a place for athletes to train. 
We went very early in the morning, which was perfect because by the time we were leaving, there were swarms of tourists flooding the place. The dusty trees and ancient rocks were a perfect backdrop - you could cast your mind back and almost imagine what it could have been like, living then. 

I was born in Olympia, but not the original one. Olympia, Washington. I kept telling Yannick "I was born here!" and I'm not sure why I found it so funny. 
They laid out a lot of the ruined stone in lines. Perhaps they were organising it so that they can put it back together one day. 

This was a monument dedicated to Philip, Alexander the Great's father, and their family. It was built after Philip won the Battle of Chaeronea. The structure is called a Philippeion. Awesome. Maybe someone will build me a Neciaeion one day. 

This was the site of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world - the statue of Zeus. The statue itself was immensely tall, and covered in ivory and gold. It was built by a dude called Phidias and took him about 12 years to finish. When times got economically tough for Greece, they started selling off the ivory and gold. Eventually the statue was completely destroyed, though historians aren't sure quite how it happened.

That little figure dressed in orange was a woman who kept doing very energetic poses and making her husband photograph her. 

The shade from the overhanging trees cast the site in a pleasant gloom, and it also kept us from overheating in the Greek sun.


We visited the museum on the site, and Yannick and I cracked up about how this guy looked like he was talking on a mobile phone. Yeah, we appreciate art and stuff. (Also, he has Cheerios hair.)