Did we go to Washington's capital today? No! We went to Ancient Olympia! After about 1,000,000 hours in the car on windy, mountain roads and guided by our trusty GPS, we arrived in Olympia. We were very concerned about whether it would be open or not (see Our Misadventure to Delphi) since we had seen a rag-tag group of Greeks on strike in Athens that morning, AND since our guidebook provided very questionable hours of "it may close at 3:00 or 8:00 pm". Luckily, the archaeologists were NOT on strike today, and it was a day that it was open late.
The ruins were amazing! The site was by far the largest one that we've been to (excluding Mexico). We saw all of the original Olympic Village and Stadium, including the athletes' training areas, judging box, treasuries and the track. Apparently, the Germans helped do some reconstruction of the site in before the Athens Olympics, and all the other tourists there were German! We also visited the site museum which mainly had a bunch of headless statues?!?
After the site, we walked around the town and shopped the crap-a-rias for a while before sitting down to dinner at the illustriously named "Traditional Greek Food." We really should have known better since we would never go anywhere that was named "Traditional Mexican Food" as it would most definitely lead to at least a day's worth of gastrointestinal distress, which it did. Autumn and I debated about whether the "salad" that was accompanying her souvlaki was a lettuce-based salad, which she hates, or a regular Greek salad. I mistakenly assured her that "of course it's a Greek salad, what other kinds do they have here?" Unfortunately, it was lettuce, and Zeus's Revenge ensued for the rest of the trip! (sad face) Autumn was a trooper, kept up a smile, and on we went on our road trip through the Peloponnese villages of Greece.
Strike of the day...not sure who was striking, but it was not archeologists, waiters, hotel workers, gas station attendants or toll-booth operators, so we were safe!
One of the better roads we took today...
Which way do we go?
Reconstruction of the "Philppeion" (with a little help from the Germans)
Starting blocks for track and field events
One arch of the "Krypti Tunnel"...aka the ancient red carpet!
It's all Greek to me!
(...and no, this joke never got old)
Time to get the weed-whacker
OLYMPIA! We were really getting our Greek-language skills on today! Parakalo!
Autumn and a fallen Greek column.
Corinthian capitals from the unlabeled part of the map
So many ruins!
Limestone with visible shells!
Yeah geology! (which the Greeks invented by the way!)
Say "fallen column sections"!
The original Olympic pool aka the "Leonideion"
Another off the map find!
Autumn hypothesized (which the Greeks also invented doing) that this was most definitely an ancient pyramid which the Greeks also probably invented.
The "Workshop of Pheidias" which really looked like a Christian Church, what with the crosses everywhere!
The soon-to-be dreaded "Traditional Greek Food"
The fact that everything was only in English should have been a sign that this restaurant did not, in fact, have traditional nor sanitary Greek food!
Autumn in her own private twin bed at Hotel Pelops.
Unfortunately the evil eye didn't help her at dinner!