First, we went on a ferry to the island of Skiathos, where we stayed at an inn owned by our friend Aris' friends, called Villa Kim. In Skiathos, we went up to a monastery that used to house 70 monks, but now has only two. When we arrived at the monastery, we got a big surprise ... there was a peacock trying to attract a female next to him, which meant he had all of his feathers up. Even though he looked incredible, the female didn't seem impressed.
From there, we went on a hike and reached another monastery, where we were invited to have lunch with the people who were there restoring it. We ate some delicious cheese pie that had just been baked in an outdoor wood-burning stove. It was really nice to meet such friendly locals.
Another thing Delphi was known for by the ancient Greeks was that they believed it to be the naval, or belly button, of the earth. At that point, there was a temple for the 'Oracle of Delphi.' An oracle is a spiritual person who the gods speak through. Whenever people in ancient Greece needed to make really important decisions, they would consult with an oracle first and the oracle in Delphi was considered to be one of the most powerful.
From Delphi we went to Olympia, which was the sanctuary of Zeus, the most important god of ancient Greece. And of course, this was also where the ancient Olympics were held. In Olympia, we went to the Temple of Zeus, where the Olympic athletes would get rewarded for winning by being presented with an olive wreath. We also visited the Temple of Hera, which is where they still light the Olympic torch for the modern Olympic games. But best of all, we went to the track where the first ancient Olympics were held in 776 B.C. and Stefan and I had a race. The ancient Olympic site also had cool things like hotels to house important visitors to the games, a huge gymnasium for training, and even a pool.
After visiting the ancient Olympic site, we went to the Modern Olympic Museum. The museum held all kinds of artifacts, like the first gold metal ever. Take a look:
It also had posters for all the Olympic games, souvenirs, and even torches from all the Olympic games. The other really cool thing they had was the metal bowl that they use to light the Olympic torch.
The way they light the torch is really cool. At around 11:00 a.m., they use the reflection from this big metal bowl to catch the rays of the sun, and that ignites the torch.
After a great visit to Olympia we went back to Loutraki for one last night before heading off to Peru to join the NG Kids Expedition Team! So, that's all for now.