It was very hard to leave Athens this morning due to the excellent breakfast that the Airotel Alexandros Hotel provides, but leave we did and headed north towards Delphi. There was hardly any traffic on the road as we drove through sleepy Athens on this Sunday morning.
Athens is surrounded by mountains with passes the only way in to the city and the other side covered by the sea. This was sited for protection in ancient times and the Athenians built forts to sit in the passes as further protection. We left towards the north through one of those passes and found ourselves crossing one of the plains that are outside the city.
On our way were to stop at a position that was sited to protect the withdrawal of the ANZAC Corps as it moved towards the evacuation beaches. Blamey's Headquarters had received a report that hundreds of German vehicles were streaming south from Yannina on the western road and was advised thast they may reach Delphi next day. Therefore Blamey decided to demolish the road at Delphi and establish a force covering it.
He ordered the road to be so damaged that the enemy would be delayed 24 hours even if the demolitions were not defended. Engineers were sent out 50 kilometres and worked back blowing the bridges, culverts and to crater the road. Lt Col King and his 2/5th Battalion, supported by a troop of field guns and company of machine gunners were tasked with defending the last blown bridge located near Levadia. We stopped at the site and discussed the way that Lt Col King would have deployed his force. The photo of the site is included with these notes.
Coffee at the nearby café followed our discussions. After our coffee we continued towards Delphi driving through some spectacular country closed in by huge mountains. We drove through the beautiful ski resort town of Arahova and just outside the town we stopped at a restaurant for lunch. A couple of our party ordered the Wild Boar and were happy with their decision to try something new.
Delphi, the home of the Oracle and the Temple of Apollo. We first visited the actual site that had been excavated in the late 19th Century by French archaeologists and were taken through the history of the site by Elena before moving into the Museum to see all the artefacts found during the dig. A full day but an excellent day and we are to have dinner in a restaurant with views to the Corinth Gulf to round off the day. Tomorrow through the Brallos Pass to Domokos and Kalambaka beyond.
Dinner was in the village of Delphi that clings to a hillside.
The view from our hotel at Delphi is spectacular out to the Gulf of Corinth and the plain before the Gulf has over a million olive trees growing there. There are also the little interesting snippets on sees when in Greece, the movement of the goats and sheep along their well trodden path to the location where they will bed down for the night protected by the faithful dogs that live with them.