Athens 2023 Athens, Greece MSMU Travels

The Peloponnese

About halfway through our semester, CYA took us on an excursion to the Peloponnese. This time we went through Delphi and Olympia. The mountainous destinations made for a different experience than our previous trips to the coast.

Our first stop was Delphi, where we started at the archeological site and then walked toward the temple of Apollo where the oracle of Delphi was said to be. Our CYA professor told us how people would bribe with donations in order to skip to the front of the long lines waiting to see the oracle. Even though most of the area has been destroyed, it was still a sight to behold.

After the temple, we visited the Delphi Archaeological Museum, which housed more pieces from the site and a vast number of gifts left for the gods. Among the offerings in the museum was the Charioteer of Delphi, regarded as the most detailed/realistic bronze statue ever made.

To see it in person was surreal, the way the clothes were made and tied to the back, the details in the face and the fact it can stand alone on two legs. The most important feature that our professor pointed out was the detail of the toes. This statue was made to be on a 10-foot platform and inside a chariot. However, the dedication to detail even on the parts that people would never see is what makes this piece so great. The offerings to the Gods were something that the Greeks of ancient times did not mess around with, and they were always a testament to loyalty and devotion along with other cultural values. In Olympia, we witnessed the area in which the Olympic Games and practices would take place. It was so interesting to see where the Olympics were born and what events were held in ancient times versus the ones we hold now. In the areas where the Olympics were held, there were also temples and offerings dedicated to Zeus, Hera and more gods and goddesses. The sheer size of each column drum for Zeus’s temple was crazy.

To finish the trip, we visited a local honey farm. We learned about the past and modern-day processes of collecting honey. We each got to try spoon candy, which is a very sweet jam-like substance that is often given to guests in Greece. We also sampled fresh honey and beeswax.

The trip was rounded out with lots of souvenir shopping and special tourist deals! The whole trip was an awesome experience. I saw a lot of important sites from history and ancient myths which made it even better.

I hope that you will continue reading!

Thank you and goodbye,

Rosie Ballmann

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