Greece 2008 - Delphi and Yannina
Time flies. This past week was our “tech week”, meaning that every evening we rehearsed “Agamemnon” at the Oiniades theatre with full set and costumes. Our final dress rehearsal is this evening (Saturday), and Sunday evening is our performance.
The mayor of the village of Katohi wants to take us out for dinner after our performance. Keep in mind that our show will not start until 9:30 PM, so we’re likely looking at dinner around midnight. While that may sound bizarre to my American readers back home, it’s perfectly normal in Greece.
Two years ago, the mayor took us all out to eat after our performance of “The Bacchae”, and he liked the first piece I wrote for the show so much that he demanded an encore performance around the dinner table! :-) It’s a different mayor this time, so we’ll see if anything like that happens again.
As I promised in my last post, here’s an update (plus pictures) concerning some of our recent adventures here. Back in June, our first weekend excursion was to the ancient sacred site of Delphi. We left early on a Saturday morning and had a three-hour bus trip, the last hour of which was uphill, through twisting, treacherous terrain. We all held our breath when our bus driver attempted a 180-degree turn on a tiny mountain road with no guardrail to stop us from careening off the cliff, but the driver did a masterful job.
This was my second trip to Delphi, and I found the ruins just as impressive as I did the first time. Most things were just as I remember them, such as the lovely temple to Athena and the vast temple of Apollo (the oracle itself). Please see the collection of pictures below.
There’s a lot to see at Delphi in addition to the temples, such as the ancient theatre and the Stadium at the top. It’s customary to engage in a foot-race in the Stadium, but unlike my last visit, no one was allowed into the Stadium this time. That minor inconvenience did not stop two members in our company, who proceeded to jump the rope and race through the Stadium, much to the dismay of the guard!
Once we descended from the mountain, we cooled off in the museum. Unbelievably, I was able to take some pictures of the famous “Delphi Charioteer” statue without anyone around it!
The following weekend (in early July), we took another day trip, this time to the city of Yannina. This was my first visit there, so I had no idea what to expect. Yannina is a fairly-large city in north-western Greece. Since it has a major university, I kept humorously trying to envision it as Lawrence, KS, but with mountains and ocean. :-)
Our first stop was the famous wax museum, which contains dozens of life-size sculptures all impressively created by a single man. No pictures were allowed inside the museum, so I regret that I have none to show you now.
After lunch, we took a short ferry ride to a small tourist-trap of an island, filled with dozens of little trinket shops, all containing practically the same trinkets. The main attraction on the island was the Ali Pasha museum, which was essentially the place where he lived and was murdered. Apparently he was shot several times and had his head delivered to the Sultan on a silver platter (remember that Greece was swallowed up by the Ottoman empire for about 400 years). Please see the pictures below, including the pictures of a painting representing the death of Ali Pasha.
Once again, thanks for reading! Stay tuned for updates and pictures about Corinth, Mycenae, and Nafplio.