After an early start to the first leg of our 8-day trek through Northern Greece, we arrived at the Monastary of Hosios Loukas. Hosios Loukas was a local saint who was believed to have healing powers, so a few of the more daring members of the group sipped the mountains’ spring waters in the hopes that any of their ailments may be cured. Inside the ornate monestary, we saw a relic hand of the saint as well as small, tin dedications that people have offered to the saint in order to receive his blessing of good health. We were all very impressed by the intricate mosaics in gold leaf depicting various biblical scenes including the Pentacost.
We then made our way to Delphi and set up our picnic lunch which we purchased the supplies for yesterday in the central market of Athens. We were surprised by a number of feline visitors who were keen to eat our food. The cats of Delphi ate like little kings today.
After lunch, we ventured up the mountain to consult Apollo’s famed Oracle at Delphi. One by one, we crawled on our hands and knees through the depths of the temple from which the Oracle would have emerged in antiquity.
In addition, we had two student led presentations by Sarah and Angel. Sarah provided background on the Oracle, its history, and its mythology. Angel talked about the Treasury of Athens in which the spoils of war were stored and displayed during festivities.
We made a new canine companion today, affectionately dubbed Apollo.
He playfully followed the group to our last stop at the site from which Delphi draws its nickname: the Belly Button of the World. Delphi really did feel like the umbilicus of the planet. Professor Salowey joked that it was obviously an outie.
Hadley & Pavithra